News International Declares War on Trinity Mirror’s Scottish Flagship

THERE is something of an unwritten rule in modern day journalism that you don't attack each other's titles or staff. Well, not much anyway.

You can gloat about sales, wrong stories, prod a bit with marketing.

Yet stories about shagging editors, drink driving bans, dodgy payments and night-time excesses are among the topics declared off-limits over the years as the ferocious fights of the 60s, 70s and 80s gave way to something more, well, sedate.

But it will be interesting to see how the beleagured troops at the Daily Record will react after the Scottish News of the World accused its sports supremo Jim Traynor and chief sportswriter Keith Jackson of "selective" reporting.

In a nut-shell the Scottish 'Screws' claimed the Record stitched up Rangers duo Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor over their boozy bender in a hotel which has seen them both banished by club and country.

It alleged it did this firstly because Traynor had a furious row with Ferguson and secondly, because he contributes to the Scottish Sun.

The Screws also alleges that a third player, Scott Brown of Celtic, was "protected" by the paper and not named and shamed too because he is chief snout for Keith Jackson.

Pretty sensational stuff in the trade.

But frankly, children, this is not the norm in newspaper land.


Especially not at a time when the Record staff learn over the next few days which of them will be made redundant, just 48-hrs after colleagues at the Sunday Mail walked out on strike over the compulsory job losses leaving sport cover a shadow of its usual self.

News International will, of course, say it was quite simply a legitimate news story that needed proper investigating.

Those on the Daily Record will have to decide whether to respond by hitting back or rise above it all and seethe quietly. 

Hell, they might even speak to their lawyers.

But as the rest of us form a circle, hold the coats and shout 'fight, fight, fight' you can't help but wonder if the Scottish Sun/Scews are simply putting the boot it at a particularly difficult time for their rivals hoping to evoke a 'Thugs and Thieves' reaction from Rangers fans in and cash in on the controversy.

And why not?

When every sale counts, every job is on the line and every day a battle, maybe we need a good old fashioned dust up between papers to make managers see sense and free the news-desks for a time to go out and monster the market for exclusives in a show of force.

The message from Queen Street to their foes at the Record, then, clearly: 'It's your call'.

But is it one that will generate a response>

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