Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson claims he was physically threatened by a Scottish journalist following his current investigation into the tangled financial affairs of Rangers FC.
Thomson, who has covered 20 wars across the globe in his 22 years with Channel 4 News, claimed that asking questions about Rangers FC ‘clearly angers some in the Glasgow media in a way I’ve never seen in 25 years of global reporting”.
The broadcaster, who has been reporting on the Rangers FC crisis for the past two weeks, has also written a number of controversial blogs on the Channel 4 News website which has sparked off a deluge of comments online.
In one blog, he asks why nobody saw Sir David Murray’s [the former Rangers owner] Rangers empire was crumbling and why no one at the club, the Scottish Football Association or the media questioned whether current owner Craig Whyte was the best man to buy Rangers FC.
‘Because – like the bankers – everyone was having too much fun living the dream? Partly yes, but partly a crucial check and balance to all the Ibrox hype had all but gone,’he said.
‘For years too much football ‘journalism’ in Glasgow had been too lazy, sycophantic and incapable of asking awkward questions.”
In one blog, Thomson, an Oxford university graduate who began his broadcasting career with the BBC in Northern Ireland, explained: ‘I’d expected the paranoia, insults, spin etc – hey – this is ‘fitba’ after all and I welcome it good, bad and ugly, from fans within and without Glasgow.
‘Indeed I’ve gone out and asked for it. What I didn’t expect were the insults (and in at least one case a direct physical threat) not from fans but from Scottish journalists.
‘Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kabul, Islamabad, Tripoli, Baghdadâ€¦I could bore you with more – in none of these places have I ever got this interesting reaction from local journalists.
‘Only in Glasgow. So something’s up. Something’s different. Something about asking questions about RFC clearly angers some in the Glasgow media in a way I’ve never seen in 25 years of global reporting.”
Thomson continued: ‘Equally, a number of fine Glasgow journalists have been incredibly helpful, encouraging and agree there has been something deeply wrong for far too long in the culture of reporting RFC.
‘They know who they are, male and female, working in papers, radio and broadcasting and every single one has encouraged me to dig around in an area many cannot, will not or are prevented from, exploring.
Thomson went on to claim that ‘for years too much football ‘journalism’ in Glasgow had been too lazy, sycophantic and incapable of asking awkward questions”.
‘The culture of taking wild stories at face value and pumping them out appears alive and well in Glasgow – the record will show the MSM [mainstream media] in that city have been left standing time and time again by bloggers getting the facts in their spare time often many miles from Glasgow.”
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