31 August 2008

What's wrong with Bolton?

Actually, there's nothing at all wrong with Bolton. It's a wonderful town and I am proud to be a resident.

However, anyone from outside Bolton, who is unlucky enough to read the online version of the local newspaper, would think it is the most dreadful town in England. The paper specialises in little but bad news, and the standard of the reporting is, at best, poor. It concentrates on trivia and the only thing that makes it interesting for the ordinary person is the liberal use of poor spelling and grammar, giving fodder to the regulars of the online forum.

It is very rare that they have many 'good news' stories (with the notable exception of the recent Olympic success of Jason Kenny), and this weekend, it seems as though they were so short of stories that they have approached our excellent fire service for statistics and then made each item into a drama. There is a part of me that thinks that publishing all these stories of bin fires is just giving bored teenagers bad ideas.

A selection of headlines from the past two days:

  • Man stabbed in Bury
  • Arsonist target bin
  • Fire in derelict house
  • Den destroyed in arson attack
  • Rubbish set alight
  • Arsonists target van
  • TV sparks incident
  • Dryer blaze
  • Pan sparks blaze
  • Call to end SATs fails at council meeting
  • £40,000 damage as boyfriend drives car into bungalow
  • Man to be sentenced for animal cruelty
  • Woman jailed for attack on baby
  • Post delivered to empty house
  • Developers face ASBO threat over illegal signs
  • Vehicle destroyed in fire
  • Car destroyed in blaze
  • Arsonists target car
  • Boy suffers burns
  • Man admits raping teenage schoolgirl

Yes, folks, come to Bolton, but don't use the paper as your guide.


Spikey said...

now for the good news................


Guess it's gonna be a long wait :o/

Seán said...

Actually, the headlines are pretty normal for any newspaper anywhere. Here are a few from our free rag, The Advertiser:

The Trade Exodus of Radcliffe

Probe into Group's Use of Lottery Cash

Appeal for Hit and Run Witness

Thieves Target Floral Displays.

And those are in a paper which (a) attempts to be positive and (b) fills its columns with news from pensioners' days out and primary school fetes.

There is one thing wrong with Bolton for definite, though. The problem I've found with Bolton more than anywhere else I've lived or worked is the mess. The only place I've seen with more litter is Liverpool. Frankly Bolton really is a dump!
I've even had a native Boltonian exclaim to me how tidy and clean Bury is. Yep, Bury - the dog turd capital of northern England.

Amazing but true.


Kat said...

Post Delivered To Empty House... that's scraping the bottom of the barrel even for the BEN!