Neil Cameron, who writes for Glasgow-based newspapers The Herald and the Evening Times, says Rangers manager Mark Warburton’s comments about the Scottish press were “ill-informed.”
Mr Warburton spoke out after his former colleague Malky Mackay, who was involved in a controversy over alleged racist and sexist text messages in 2013, was appointed as performance director of the Scottish Football Association last week.
The Rangers boss commented: “I’ve read some shocking statements about Malky. I get very disappointed when I see people copying and pasting articles from three and a half years ago. I think that’s lazy journalism.”
But Neil said Warburton’s accusation had left journalists in Scotland feeling offended.
Responding in a column for The Herald, Neil wrote: “It is almost impossible to be a lazy journalist these days. Trust me, I’ve tried. If only there was time to step out for a gin and tonic – a gentleman’s measure, naturally – in order to have a good old think about the one subject you are going to write about that day before considering filing something at about four-ish. But this is 2016 when a deadline is always five minutes ago.
“The nature of this job has changed beyond all recognition from the days when I was a copy boy in the old Albion Street offices. My main task was to fetch and carry for the journalists – pictures, page plans, glasses of brandy from the Press Bar – and keep the legendary and downright scary editor George McKechnie in a good mood.
“Well, not exactly. George, a huge man with a beard you could hide a badger in, didn’t really do good moods. It was more a case of what scale of bad he was feeling and the entire editorial floor knew that if my fellow workers and I were able to forge the boss man’s favourite meal at lunch then they might just get through the day without being b********.
Neil added: “Journalists have always worked hard. It’s just that back then there was more potential for a bit of downtime. You could disappear off the radar – for a bit – whereas these days if you get to drink a whole cup of coffee without having to write a blog it feels like a day off.
“So when someone accuses a journalist, or journalism as a whole, of being lazy, then those of us who every day – that’s weekends, bank holidays and at all hours – chip away at the coalface of truth are rightly going to be offended. You can call us rubbish, many are, and disagree with an opinion or the take on a tale. But lazy… Nah, I’m not having that.”