The Gazette has applied a self-imposed ban on interviews with the manager and players at Middlesbrough FC after the club placed restrictions on two of its reporters, the paper has claimed.
Sports writer Dominic Shaw was told by the club he was “not welcome” to interview new manager Garry Monk (pictured) following a friendly match on Wednesday, The Gazette has said.
The Trinity Mirror-owned title, which publishes online at Gazette Live, said another reporter was allowed to carry out the interview, but it has taken the decision not to run the piece.
The Teesside paper said yesterday: “As an independent publisher, we simply cannot allow any organisation to apply restrictions on our journalism by dictating which of our staff they are happy to field questions from.”
The Gazette said the latest restrictions on access for reporters follows a decision in June not to allow Shaw and football writer Jonathon Taylor to attend an earlier event with manager Monk. Again in this instance, other journalists were allowed to report, the paper said.
“No proper explanation has been provided despite repeated requests from The Gazette for clarification on the reasons,” The Gazette said.
“It is now clear the club does not wish its employees to engage with certain members of our staff.
“It is with deep regret that The Gazette is in this position. We are eager to move on and are looking forward to what should be an exciting season for Teesside.
“But as it stands, and under the current conditions, The Gazette will not interview the manager or players.”
The paper said it will continue to “attend all matches”, adding: “While the current situation is unfortunate, our aim will always be to act in the best interests of our readers.”
Press Gazette has contacted Middlesbrough FC for a comment.
The Gazette has a daily print circulation of 21,000, according to ABC figures to the end of December last year. Gazette Live has 125,872 daily unique browsers, ABC figures for June show.
Picture: Reuters/John Clifton/Livepic