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Regional daily boycotts football club’s press box after journalist ban

Dominic ShawA regional daily has announced it is boycotting a football club’s press box after one of its journalists was denied access to a pre-season friendly.

As reported on HTFP last month, the Teesside Gazette announced a self-imposed ban on interviews with Middlesbrough FC manager Garry Monk after the club tried to dictate which journalists were allowed to speak to him.

The club informed sports reporter Dominic Shaw, left, that he was not welcome to carry out the interrview and invited a colleague of his to conduct it instead.

The Gazette then took a stand by declining to publish the resulting story.

Now the newspaper has announced it will not take up press passes at Middlesbrough home games after Dominic was denied media accreditation for a friendly game against German club FC Augsburg on Saturday.

Once again, the Gazette declined an invitation for another unnamed reporter who was given permission to cover the game from the club’s press facilities.

A statement on the Gazette’s website reads: “The club has now made it clear Shaw and [fellow sports writer] Jonathon Taylor are effectively denied media access to home first team and under-23 fixtures, along with press conferences at Rockliffe Park.

“Both have been prevented from interviewing Garry Monk after pre-season friendlies. On each occasion other Gazette staff have been welcome to speak to the manager.

“No proper explanation has been provided for the restrictions placed on Shaw and Taylor. It is with deep regret that The Gazette is in this position. But as it stands we will not interview the manager and players or take up press passes for our writers for home games.

“We hope the matter can be resolved as soon as possible and will continue to provide news, comment and analysis on the club in the meantime. We wish the club every success in the coming season.”

The initial interview ban came two days after the Gazette welcomed a statement on Middlesbrough’s website pledging to be “transparent” after the club accused the paper of spreading “misinformation” over its reporting of two transfers.

However, the Gazette has denied the two incidents are linked.


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  • August 1, 2017 at 8:14 am

    In this day and age I think papers who impose bans on interviews or reporting club activities are cutting off their noses to spite their faces and they serve no purpose other than to antagonise the club and provide a lesser service,and thus reason to buy the paper, for its readers.
    football is of great appeal to many many local paper readers as we know, so to distance themselves and their readers from the club is a risky and somewhat pointless excercise, let’s face it the club can do without the local paper as there are many more sources of club news than ever but the local paper can Ill afford to lose readers, at one time clubs relied on its local rag to give coverage and to ultimately sell tickets, now it doesn’t and this type of stance is likely to be more damaging to the paper than the club and at a time when readers are or should be, a highly valued commodity

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  • August 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Dear Johnnie, there are those who suck up and those who stand up.
    Well done for not being bullied guys.

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  • August 1, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Whilst I agree with the point ex JP and indeed the sentiment, it will serve no purpose and ultimately affect the ongoing relationship with the club and it’s fans,to risk losing more readers,who will be able to read all the news and more they want about MFC, in this day and age is very risky,too risky in my view to impose self harming bans which will affect the club not one iota

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  • August 1, 2017 at 11:32 am

    South Side Johnnie is stating what we, and the Gazette, already know – but are faced with a situation not of their own making.
    Perhaps SSJ is happy with the scoreline below:

    Principles 0 Brown-Nosers 1

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  • August 1, 2017 at 11:38 am

    At one time a local paper held the upper hand as the local football club, be they Sunday league or premiership, needed them and their vast readerships to reach their supporters ,now with so few copies sold its dangerous to burn your bridges and risk losing copy sales when there are alterabthve sources for news about the club and it’s players and,as has been said previously, anything that puts copy sales at risk is a dangerous stance to take, let’s face it it will either all blow over and everyone can get on with their loved or more revenue will be lost as a result and further cuts and job losses could result

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  • August 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Reading some of the comments on here is like stepping back to the 70s, making stands and seeking compromise seen as brown nosing and ignoring the fact that both sides digging their heels in is no good for anyone.
    Result nil nil

    Life on Mars all over again

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  • August 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Compromise where you must, always. A ban without any explanation is pure contempt. Sorry Johnnie / Prospectus, under other, more reasonable circumstances, I would agree with you both.

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  • August 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I can only think there’s more to this than is being reported as I agree why would a club impose a ban on an individual ?
    This kind of animosity benefits no one in a community so it’s to be hoped compromise or an explanation around the reason for barring the journalists can be reached as I fear the Gazette stands to lose more than the club

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  • August 1, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    South Side John manages to be both wrong and defeatist in.his opening post.
    Wrong – that this will necessarily damage the paper more than the post.
    Defeatist – that this necessarily damage the paper more than the post.
    If Boro do well this season, the Gazette can faithfully report it as well as their rival papers – everyone lifts quotes from each other in seconds these days anywhere, so the Gazette will only be a few minutes behind other papers at best.
    Instead they should concentrate on comment – which is not in the gift of the club.
    And of course if Boro fall flat on their faces in the weeks ahead, the Gazette can lay bare their shortcomings in the most unsparing and ruthless detail. Result: Boro 0 Gazette 3.
    And then Boro have a problem of their own….

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