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Dominoes replaces football as virus prompts sports coverage rethink

A regional daily gave dominoes the same coverage it would usually devote to professional football in a bid to fill the sporting void caused by coronavirus.

The Dundee Evening Telegraph ran a double-page spread on “the only sport in town”, due to the postponement of other fixtures, after learning of a match between two local bars at which the Hilltown Central League title would be at stake.

Reporter Kenny MacDonald attended the game between Harlequins and GJ’s and wrote a full match report.

A panel in the style of the Telegraph’s football match-file was also included – rating the tactics, outcome, atmosphere, fans and pies, as well as noting the spectator attendance of 65.

How the Telegraph covered the fixture

How the Telegraph covered the fixture

Editor Dave Lord told HTFP: “Sadly there is not too much top class sport to report on for our loyal readers at the moment.

“But, far away (both literally and metaphorically) from the pampered footballers and their millionaire lifestyles, a league title was decided this week. And it was only right and proper that the Evening Telegraph was there to witness it.

“Footballers may be sitting with their feet up as coronavirus put paid to the beautiful game, but dominoes players are made of sterner stuff.

“Nothing could stand in the way of a climatic end to the season, played out amid tense scenes at a local boozer.

““Our man was there to capture every breathless moment (not to mention sample a pie or two) so we could bring our readers all the action in our special match-file.”


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  • March 20, 2020 at 11:24 am

    The regional sports press is going to have to be unbelievably inventive if there’s no actual sport for, say, at least three months. There’s only so many interviews with former players, first-person opinion pieces and down-memory-lane articles that you can do. I really do feel for everyone involved, as a lack of sports sales is surely going to push some printed titles over the edge. I imagine such a shutdown also wasn’t envisaged in any business plan of The Athletic…

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  • March 23, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    With newsrooms as understaffed and light on experience as they are I can see no point in expecting sports writers to look for new angles and stories where none exist, surely it’s far better to utilise them in a more general overall reporting role,even by having them go out into some of the communities themselves to report first hand ( but not too close) on what’s happening at source.
    As journalists are regarded as essential workers the experience might actually do them good

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  • March 24, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I thought as a one-off this was a brilliant idea and humouress.
    But some of the filler material, especially on weeklies, is dreadful.
    Admit nothing is going on, give the pages over to some news and let’s get on with the real world.

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  • March 24, 2020 at 10:31 am

    not quite sure what happened to my fingers with my post. but you get the drift.

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