Just when you thought the Limerick Leader couldn’t get any worse, the following headlines appear on the front page today.
“Girl punched in city fight video on You Tube”
“Prostitutes still stalk city streets despite garda sting”
“Viagra use shouldn’t be mocked, says mayor”
It seems that a once decent newspaper is sliding steadily into the abyss. A friend has suggested that since the Limerick Post upped its game a few years ago, the Leader has settled back into the role of trashy tabloid as it is no longer able to compete on quality. It’s not difficult to believe given the current standard. Perhaps it’s to do with the editorial agenda forced on it by its new Scottish owners, Johnston Press.
Whatever the cause, the stories above are hardly newsworthy. Scuffles break out in every town and village in the country every night and they are hardly deemed worthy of gossip, let alone column inches on the front page of the local newspaper. Prostitutes walking the streets isn’t news. You could write that story at any stage and just publish it whenever you’re too lazy to come up with something half interesting. Prostitiutes are always walking the streets and always have been. They do it elsewhere too. As for the new mayor being quoted on the apparent high level of viagra prescriptions in the region, I suspect that somebody in the Leader office rang him up to get an opinion, and this hardly counts as journalism, does it? It would have taken about two minutes to write that story, and maybe another two minutes to call the mayors office to get a quote, slot it in and think of a headline. He should know better than to comment on issues that he knows little about or has nothing to do with, but the Limerick Leader scraping the bottom of the barrel with this kind of thing.
I would hate to see the Leader slide further, but it strikes me that perhaps there’s only room for one decent newspaper in the city?