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Press ban record claimed

Press ban record claimed

Barely a fortnight after being appointed editor of the Vitalfootball Leicester City website I've been banned from the Press Room at Leicester City - and I'm claiming that as a record unless I hear differently.

It is the sort of decision which scribes of the past used to wear like a badge of honour but there are deep implications.

Officially, the reason was because I 'negated the effect of the Official Leicester City website'.

However, it emerged that the club were not comfortable accrediting e-journalists, no matter what their journalistic experience.

Without revealing full details at this stage because I need to offer the right of reply and there are other considerations, the club have left the Press door open if I can gain accreditation from the Football League for my work.

Should that be the case they have promised to reconsider the matter.

It is almost like being back in the times when women had no right to vote, when companies were reluctant to employ foreigners when ethnic and religious discrimination was open and rife.

Except the bogeyman now is the e-journalist.

In other words, a nice tame newspaper or radio journalist working for a long established newspaper or radio station is welcomed.

But an equally experienced journalist who works in e-journalism and seeks to report independently without fear or favour and to reflect the views, hopes and fears of the fans is ostracized.

Why? Search me. No-one could get away with ostracizing a principaled conventional journalist wanting to enjoy the facilities of a Press Room.

But an e-journalist is fair game.

My CV reads as well as the next (it's there on the home page under 'profile') but, although once a fairly front-line writer and columnist I am now an e-journalist fundamentally because my wife had major brain surgery recently and there are not many media positions open where you can work from home and assist with your wife's long term care and convalescence.

That makes it an ironic decision for a football club which enjoyed such a wonderful PR photoshoot presenting Christmas gifts to sick children at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Anyway, I shall contact the Football League as a starter on behalf of my campaign to rid football of discrimination against the people's e-journalists.

And if I make any progress it will all have been worth it.



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Date:Saturday December 31 2005
Time: 9:12AM

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