Skip to: Navigation | Content | Footer


Mersey Rules

James Evelegh's editorial from this week's edition of InPubWeekly.

James Evelegh

Posted on: 03 May 2018


Rule # 1 of any self-respecting journalism course should be: if you’re going to write something unpleasant about fans of Liverpool FC, then get it right! Liverpool footy fans take unjustified criticism very personally, and err, stop buying your newspaper, en masse. And, the rest of the city closes ranks and does the same. It’s not good for sales.

So, when writing your story about LFC fans, check your facts, steer well clear of stereotypes, and avoid unnecessary references to Heysel and Hillsborough. If you do mention them, then make sure you know the difference between the two. Once you’ve finished, take a break, then come back to it and check it all again. If it holds water, then publish! If not, then … don’t.

Rule # 2 is, if you break rule # 1, apologise quickly. Proclaim that the offending article does not reflect the proud traditions and views of your newspaper and announce an inquiry into how such a piece of abject drivel could ever have seen the light of day. If you prostrate yourself quickly enough, you might just get away with it. last week broke rule # 1 with a piece that appeared to criticise LFC fans for the violence outside Anfield and wondering why they attracted trouble like bees to honey. Oops.

However, when it came to rule # 2, they played a blinder; as the first grumblings started to be heard from the Mersey, the new management team leapt into action with a fulsome grovel; it disowned the article completely, apologised unconditionally, announced the suspension of the ‘freelance’ (that’s handy) journalist involved, and announced an immediate inquiry. Textbook.

There’s no sign of a ‘Shun the Express’ campaign to rival that waged so unrelentingly against The Sun. That paper, of course, broke both rules and has been paying the price for the last 29 years. Liverpool does not forget.

About James Evelegh
(Details last updated: 21 March 2018)

James Evelegh is the editor of InPublishing. Previous roles have included circulation consultant, group circulation manager at Centaur Media and circulation manager at DMG Trinity.

Tel: 01322 865 984

Email: Send a message to this author


Twitter: @InPublishing

comments powered by Disqus

Most read on InPublishing

These are the most read stories on the InPublishing website over the last 14 days, in order from the top.


Off The Page

David Hepworth
Posted on: 24 July 2018

Unreliable sources

James Evelegh
Posted on: 6 September 2018

Paper choices: 5 minutes with… Danny Doogan

Danny Doogan
Posted on: 6 September 2018

The Royals: still good for sales?

Liz Gerard
Posted on: 24 July 2018

Building affiliate revenue streams: dos and don’ts

Keith Walker
Posted on: 24 July 2018

Revenue first

James Evelegh
Posted on: 13 September 2018

Be the change makers

James Evelegh
Posted on: 24 July 2018

ABCs: the pluses

James Evelegh
Posted on: 23 August 2018

Pet magazines

Alan Geere
Posted on: 24 July 2018

This list is based on data from Google Analytics, and is refreshed every 24 hours. (Last updated: 21/09/2018 05:52)

Find out more about

InPub Weekly: Sign-up

Click here to sign up for our free weekly email newsletter:

Sign up now!

Magazine registration

Next Top Tips Webinar

7 Top Tips for Saving Time & Money on Editorial Contributions

2.30-3.00pm (BST), Tuesday 16 October 2018

Clair Lawson

Webinar sponsored by

Publishing Partners Guide

Guide to paid-content