After the libel-loving Editor of WalesOnline, Paul Rowland, was forced to defend his website against accusations of ‘clickbait’ journalism, Edwin Phillips listens to two furious readers (R1) and (R2) who believe real news is not covered.
R1: (Angrily) I’ve been in touch with WalesOnline loads of times to give them stories, and they just don’t do anything!
If there was a murder down our street in Neath they wouldn’t do it!
R2: (Sighing) I know.
They’re only interested in lists about the 10 best places to eat in Cardiff, and that kind of thing.
R1: (Sarcastically) but that’s not ‘clickbait’ journalism.
Paul Rowland said so.
He even gave advice on the WalesOnline website to someone who wanted to get into journalism, saying: “You might not be interested in ’19 mouth watering street food dishes and where to find them in Wales’, and you might believe it’s not something we should be writing (I wouldn’t agree, but that’s fine).
“That doesn’t mean it’s clickbait.
R2: (Sighs again) yes, and that other reader really put her finger on it when she said: “.. what I’d really like to see is Walesonline (sic) reporting real news instead of Buzzfeed style articles on the ten best burgers in Cardiff”.
Rowland doesn’t exactly help his cause either by saying he will sue other news outlets which report real news (in December our Editor Phil Parry received an email from Mr Rowland threatening legal action following publication of a satirical article).
(Muttering) those words of his will come back to haunt him: “I am placing it (the article) in the hands of our lawyers” and “satire is no defence against libel (it can be)“.
Idiot – he is a journalist and obviously knows nothing about libel.
R1: There is that other stuff from him too!
He defended the journalism in WalesOnline by saying “I think this (clickbait) is a really misused term”.
No it isn’t!
We all know what ‘clickbait’ is and WalesOnline is it.
There was all that stuff about the opening of bars too!
R2: (More sighs) ah yes, the ‘stories’ about bars.
An article about the opening of the Brains ‘sports bar’ with footballer Gareth Bale was the Page Three lead ‘story’ in the South Wales Echo.
We all see that spot as one of the most important after the front and back pages, and the piece was headlined: “Bale and Brains team up to open sports bar”.
Last year WalesOnline published 17 so-called ‘stories’ about the Coyote Ugly bar on St Mary Street in Cardiff – which features women dancing for largely male customers.
One report was headlined: “Watch the Coyote Ugly Cardiff girls practise their moves ahead of opening night”.
Even WalesOnline’s own journalists say the website is stuck in the 1970s apparently.
(Under breath) or as one commentator who should know better, bizarrely and misspelling it, said about The Eye on Twitter – ‘mysoginistic’.
R1: (Angry again) they call that news!
Attractive women holding mugs of beer in a bar?!
R2: (Sounding grim) I’ll tell you what is not very attractive.