20 August 2013

Rangers and The Media: Let's try this again

by Shane Nicholson | Executive Editor

I'll keep this short.

First, let's accept the fact that "RANGERS" in a headline, either print or the web, sells advertising. It's as simple as that, regardless of the publication or outlet. That's why The Herald jumped on a story that was 12 days old for Monday morning's edition. How many of you clicked on that ASA appeal link?

This is news. It's not about balanced perspective; it's about shareholders and pounds and everything that every other business in the world has to account for. The companies behind the news are businesses like any other. There's a bottom line and money to make. Rangers make a lot of that money for interested parties.

Now, let's get to the business of these supposed leaks. It's a funny idea to me that people would assume that a story related to Charles Green – solely to Charles Green, and still ongoing, a man still in meetings having discussions with the board of Rangers – would have to be leaked by someone within the walls of Ibrox.

It's absurd on its face, but the realization that people don't understand it is, quite frankly, wholly understandable. This type of information is pre-determined: Chuck resigns, he's going to sell shares, he's ready to move on.

Those facts were a known commodity before the meeting at Ibrox began; I can't fault people for not understanding that such information is already in play and given to familiar outlets in advance to release when the time is right. It's called an embargo; it's common.

It's not a "leak" or a "mole" or any other buzz word that one wants to attach. It's how news works. It's how plenty of information is disseminated, comfortable or not. People with information relay it to people who can distribute said information, and those people maybe make a bit off hits and headlines in return.

People are paid to share information, and said information is perceived as leaks sometimes because there's not a name attached to it. This is how news travels. When it's good you don't mind but when you question the result it raises red flags.

Look for the simplest solution in such cases; the results probably won't shock you.