allmediascotland.com is about to change, in terms of design, functionality and style of editorial. That may lead to some disruption of normal services over the next few weeks, not least because there are holidays to be had. It does mean also the prospect of new voices, from a galaxy of bloggers. So far, Nick Clayton, David Calder, Chris Bell, Craig McGill and Mark Gorman. Here, SHAUN MILNE writes for a second time. You’ll see his biog below. Feel free to become an AMS blogger yourself, by emailing us, here.
Andy Murray, eh? The new darling of the Scottish media even if he has upset our southern cousin by refusing the back Engerrlund in the footie a while back.
He’s the new hope for our papers rushing to splash his ugly mug all over the front and back pages, whipping up enthusiasm for him, in the hope sales will get a lift.
To be fair, Monday night’s win at ‘Wimbers’ was impressive, even if he could have been more gracious in his victory. Punching the air, screaming at the crowd, showing off his new-found biceps might be good for TV and websites with video.
But it’s all a long way away from the first time I stumbled across his name.
I was news editor at the Scottish Mirror at the time when we decided to have a look at this gawky young kid needing cash to keep playing.
It was a lucky spot, a news in brief tucked away in the sports pages, but something a bit off diary that we thought worthy of checking.
What followed was a series of strong, emotion-packed articles about the hopes and aspirations of a plucky young athlete from Dunblane, appealing for funding to try and make his dreams come true.
The reporters involved did a great job, teasing out information from a young man who struggled to string a sentence together.
It wasn’t so bad. His mother Judy, was still his coach back then before he turned pro, and she more than made up for his lack of chat with her own brand of enthusiasm.
But now we know why. She wasn’t another deluded coach, but a mother with faith in her children, yearning to help them achieve their potential.
I’ve still got the copies stashed away somewhere. I’m a bit like that, hoarding cuttings ‘just in case’ they might prove useful down the line.
There is no need, of course.
He’s got a book out, there’s now thousands of words on the library systems from other papers, and he’s got his own ‘official’ website fashioned in the blue and white of Scotland.
And a string of big money sponsors now, very different to the days when Judy had their begging bowl out when funding options were scare.
My biggest disappointment was finding out that he was a Hibs fan years ago. As a dyed-in-the-wool Jambo, that kind of put me off him.
But I’m reluctantly quite pleased for him too, if only because it is proving difficult for English editions to work out if they want to back him or not.
If he somehow reaches the final, then all roads will lead to Dunblane to track down friends, family and, dare I say, first girlfriends of the unlikely pin-up boy.
The London heavies will pile north, the indigenous papers should already be at work just in case, his local paper braced for the phone calls.
Maybe he really is what we in the media need, a new sporting hero to fill the void caused by football’s inevitable close season sales slump.
There will now be no lack of effort from the media as the battle begins to see who can serve up the most compelling coverage of a new national icon.
And, of course, to cash in on his new found popularity.
Shaun Milne is a founding director of award-winning design, media and publishing company Planet Ink Ltd, specialising in digital, paperless publications and corporate newspapers and magazines.
Previously, he was associate news editor of the Daily Record, and also news editor then deputy editor of the Scottish Daily Mirror.
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