A HARD LIFE AS A P.R.O!

16 Oct

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ME!

With the Scarborough Evening News now a weekly paper with a  media ‘platform neutral’ policy the job of bringing the club’s news and reports to the Scarborough public has changed radically since I was gently introduced to the job by the late much lamented Ken Dix in the early eighties.  Ken, who died earlier this year, was a good friend to Scarborough RUFC and even when he had retired from his journalistic life he would always stop me in the street enquiring after the club, its players and our future.  At the start I used to pass updates by phone to the Hull Daily Mail known as the ‘Green ‘un’ down there and Ken gave me the run down on how it was done with punctuation and capitals etc verbally passed to the news desk over the phone and we’d have a report on the Scarborough match on the street around six-o-clock on a Saturday evening. Although interest in the club waned for the green ‘un I carried on producing a report for Monday’s Evening News typing up the copy on my wife’s old Olivetti and then jogging from my home in Newby to Aberdeen Walk to deliver it (I was a runner in those days!) on a Sunday afternoon; no backspace or delete key, just a quick dab of Tippex!  The nineties were the early days of personal computers   but the gubbins I had was no more than a word processor with the copy still being manually delivered to the Evening News! Things have evolved since then and now everything is computer-based and much easier to do. Since the paper is frugal at times with their supply of photographers I supply pictures of our games and write a report, that’s where my partner in crime Dave Prince comes in; Dave sits in the stand and takes notes on the game and at the end hands them over to me. I also take notes particularly the times of scores and scorers; however I patrol behind the goal we are attacking to hopefully get some images of the masses of tries we score every week! Saturday evening the photos are downloaded and an initial truncated report written for and emailed to the Scarborough News for the website and iPad app. This report can be on the web as early as Saturday evening but will definitely be on my own website www.campbellrugby.com on Sunday and for copyright reasons on the club website www.scarboroughrugby.co.uk on Monday.  My column ‘From the Touchline’ and a comprehensive match report are in the paper on a Thursday. The sports editor tells me that space is short in the sports section and as a consequence my column and Tom Harrison’s youth news is now squeezed on to one page. Mind you the paper still weighs a ton!  The deadline for the report is around lunchtime on a Sunday and for my column it’s 10am on a Monday. However I can get anything that’s newsworthy onto the paper’s website and iPad very quickly if necessary. So there you have it; the life of an OAP local rugby reporter and that’s for approximately 40 weeks a year and I’ve been doing it since 1979. Apart from the Scarborough News I also give score up-dates during our games on Yorkshire Coast Radio by text and file a report by phone to BBC Radio York and Snowden’s Sport Editorial news agency for the Yorkshire Post. So the next time you see a howler in the report or in my column put it down to the pressure of being a busy club PRO and Cyber Grandad!

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