Cowardly critics hide behind anonymity to attack our town

Anonymous critics don't have the courage to put a name to their opinions.

Anonymous critics don't have the courage to put a name to their opinions. - Credit: PA

It’s time to get off my chest a real bugbear I’ve been feeling for some time now – and if it makes some of my readers feel uncomfortable then tough. It’s aimed at you!

As someone who earns a living by writing, I want as many people as possible to read my words. I hope I sometimes get readers thinking by my comment pieces – but my main motivation is that people should know more about the area they live in by the news stories I tell them.

However I am getting increasingly fed up with the number of people who feel they have to read and comment on my work – and that of my colleagues – for free . . . and then have the gall to criticise this professional work while hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

Yes, I’m having a go at those people like “PC Plod” and “The Original Victor Meldrew” and “The Opinion Man” who jump up when our stories appear online to have a go at the contents and the writers responsible for bringing them to the public attention.

How many of these anonymous whingers have actually put their hands in their pockets to buy a paper, or subscribed to the e-edition?

Of course they may all be subscribers to every copy of the Star that is published, in which case I take my hat off to them, but I suspect from the tone of many of their contributions that they’re the kind of people who would not put their hands in their pockets if they can get something for free!

I know that we have to embrace the digital age, and I know that news is freely available out there – but frankly if people want to know what is really happening in the world, you need to have proper professional journalists gathering that news.

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And by definition professional journalists need to be paid to get the news. It is a profession like teaching, nursing, being a lawyer.

You don’t get real unvarnished facts from bloggers who spend two hours a night putting their own spin on the news after a hard day’s work and a couple of glasses of claret!

So next time you think about putting a web comment on the bottom of one of our stories, just think about where it came from, how we found out about it, and the effort that was put in.

And have no fear, when this goes online I’ll be looking out for the web comments – and if any anonymous whingers think at having a pop at me then I’m ready . . . even if you’re not prepared to admit who you are!