NI sports hacks, step into my office. Why? Coz you’re f*****g fired!

18 01 2008

Oops! A world sport headline story snuck in and out of Belfast today without so much as a whisper from our local media.

Lewis Hamilton is the hottest property in motorsport and arguably in British sport. And he just signed another McLaren contract… on the same day that he’s in Belfast. Hint: it’s kind of a big deal.

So I’m guessing this was pay dirt for the sports hacks here. Britain’s hottest sporting figure just spent a day in Belfast on the day of motorsport’s big story. Nice scoop for our local guys? Well, no. Zip. Zero. Squat. Nada. Nothing.

But are we to be left in the dark over Lewis’s trip to Belfast? Hell, no! The estimable Marketwire is able to report that:

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton jetted into Belfast to meet employees of Bombardier Aerospace, in what is the start of a special year in the aircraft operation’s history.

Jeez, that sounds great. For the benefit of the NI sports hacks, what’d he say? Well, Marketwire are on hand once more:

I’m delighted to be here today to meet some of the people who are responsible for making a large part of the legendary Learjet aircraft, which is synonymous with speed and performance. It’s fascinating to see the skills and technology involved in constructing the jet,” said Mr. Hamilton.

I’m particularly pleased to be here at the start of what is a truly historic year for Bombardier’s Belfast operation – 100 years of aircraft innovation. I’m proud to be able to share in the celebration of this extraordinary aviation heritage.

Great! Lewis just signed for McLaren, right? And no mention? Of course! No sports hack were able to make it to pose a question.

Never worry, the host company must have some insight. Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, takes the story forward:

Lewis Hamilton personifies what the Bombardier Learjet brand stands for: speed, power, agility and performance. We’re delighted that he could take the time to visit our operation and meet some of our employees at the start of our centenary year. Whilst we are celebrating the achievements of the past 100 years, we’re also laying the foundations for our next 100 years to ensure we continue to build on our capabilities and remain at the forefront of aviation excellence.

Gee. Thanks. So let me get this straight, the Belfast Telegraph were able to report the big story. But the subject of that story was two miles down the road and they didn’t know.

This story is happening now. Staff at Bobballs want to know – where are the world exclusives that put local media on the global map?

Ah heck, let’s not have this overshadow Bombardier Aerospace’s year of celebrations to mark a century of extraordinary aviation heritage. Well to go Bombardier, what a coup!

[But why didn’t you share it with the local media? Isn’t time everyone rethinks relationships here? A new spirit of openness perhaps?]

AN APOLOGY

In the above piece we may have given the impression that local sports hacks missed yesterday’s big sports story. Phrases such as ‘Oops!’ & ‘No sports hacks were able to make it to pose a question’ and ‘NI sports hacks, step into my office. Why? Coz you’re f*****g fired!’could have left readers considering that our media had not done a first class job. We now accept that nothing can be further from the truth. NI sports hacks are in fact doing a fine job and are peerless heroes. We should count ourselves lucky that we have them. Staff at Bobballs apologise unreservedly and will leave this post up as an enduring warning to others about how embarrassing it can be when one fails to do one’s research properly. With thanks to James. Ouch.

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2 responses

19 01 2008
James

Bob, a rant like this against the local media is justified if you’re right. But here you’re wrong.

Bombardier did publicise this to the local media and there were about 20 journalists and photographers down at the factory yesterday.

There were features last night on BBC Newsline and UTV. This morning’s Belfast Telegraph, News Letter and Irish News all reported the story prominently and make the link to Hamilton’s new contract.

They all put in more research of this story than yourself, I’m afraid.

19 01 2008
Bob

Thanks James. I checked it out and couldn’t find anything on the net last night. It bothered us that Marketwire was more prominent than our local media capturing this story.

And while we expected to see the print media pick it up this morning, we felt it was something they could have posted up on their online sites last night. The contract signing was news that was happening yesterday.

All that having been said, thank you James for the info. Staff at Bobballs apologise unreservedly. We got it wrong. NI sports hacks, you’re all re-hired for doing such fantastic jobs. Staff at Bobballs, er, step into my office…

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