Thursday, January 23, 2014
Never In A Month Of Sundays?
I do hope those on Oldham Hall Street have got over their self-induced hysteria after the first edition of the Sunday Echo. Prior to its arrival Echo editor Ali Machray was in bullish mood when talking to the Press Gazette (http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/editor-says-rise-digital-has-helped-pave-way-launch-new-sunday-paper-liverpool ): "The Liverpool [sic] Echo is a great success and it is a very strong and trusted brand in the city."
Digest that bold claim, if you can. You certainly couldn't accuse Our Ali of lacking chutzpah.
However, those hoping for stories which required a reasonable span of attention would have been disappointed when he declared, "We're not going down the road of long Sunday-like features."
Translation: If you want a broadsheet feature, stick to the "posh" papers; we're a local version of The Sun. Get used to it. I suspect that point was already acknowledged by many.
Al's audacity persisted in the Press Gazette piece as he claimed, "The readers want a Sunday edition and hopefully so do the advertisers."
Ah, yes, the advertisers. Ali will very much hope that the paper's, ahem, content draws in sufficient advertising revenue.
One local blogger who isn't so sure about the quality of the product dangled temptingly before potential readers (& those important advertisers) is David Lloyd of SevenStreets (http://www.sevenstreets.com/sunday-echo-review/ ).
This blog doesn't always share SevenStreets' take on developments in the city, it should be said. However, Lloyd's review exuded delicious disdain for the new arrival:
"First there's the identi-kit Ali Machray splash: 400 Cannabis Farms Smashed in a Year.
"That's not news, that's anti-news. A story about cannabis busts in Liverpool would only pass as news in a parallel universe where everything is upturned, where The Echo is shut down and The Daily Post survives."
He goes on to skewer the Echo's attempt to reintroduce 70s sexism in a piece which, appropriately for the Scouse Version of The Sun, appeared on page three. You'd think that neanderthal was the new normal & Jimmy Savile was still around to host Top of the Pops.
Lloyd, it should be said, forensically picks his way through the surfeit of tat & trivia that makes the Echo "a very strong and trusted brand in the city", in Ali Machray's immortal words. A "feature" on the "Wisdom of our Scouse Nans" invokes amused disdain & light sarcasm.
Another piece in Sunday's edition displayed the best that local journalism can deliver (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/lifestyle/things-say---what-your-6510579 ).
It's fair to observe that the (sickly?) Sunday sister to the weekday offering was merely trotting out a well-worn & tiresome trope with the "Scouse Nans" & cute kids. Monday's Echo featured a jolly little parochial piece by our old friend Paddy Shennan (hello, Paddy!) which conformed to this predictable pattern (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/lifestyle/vote-your-greatest-merseysider-time-6524669 ).
Paddy helpfully informed us that "the Merseyside [sic] with the most votes overall will top our table."
We're grateful to Paddy (& his chums on Oldham Hall Street) for acquainting us with the workings of a voting competion.
It remains to be seen, of course, how the Sunday edition fares in this web-savvy world. Ali, Paddy, et al will be desperately hoping that the mix of local dope, peurile titilation, Scouse nans, cheeky kids & self-congratulation is wolfed down over Sunday "brekky" by a grateful army of readers.