Mark's Musings

A miscellany of thoughts and opinions from an unimportant small town politician and bit-part web developer

The voice of the People


I got an email last week from a journalist researching a story on motorway services. Nothing hugely unusual about that, since I do run a popular website on the topic, and I’ve previously spoken to a variety of media including The Daily Mirror, Channel 4, The Guardian and BBC 5Live. All of these, so far, have been essentially one-offs, either when they’re researching a story or following up something else that’s already been reported and want some comment.

Last week’s contact was from the Sunday People, and I spoke to the journalist and gave a fairly standard interview about the type of things that people complain about when it comes to motorway services. I don’t actually know what they printed, since I didn’t buy a copy and it’s not on their website.

No sooner had the piece appeared, though, that I got three follow-up emails: one from the Manchester Evening News, one from Wire FM and one from BBC Radio Kent, all wanting to talk about motorway services in their area. For the MEN and Wire FM it was mostly about Bolton West services, which has the distinction both of featuring in the pilot episode of That Peter Kay Thing and being currently the lowest rated MSA in the country. You can read the MEN article on their website, the Wire FM interview was recorded so I have no idea when any of it will go out, and the BBC Kent slot will be tomorrow morning at around 7:45 am – they want to talk about Maidstone and Clacket Lane services, which also get below average ratings.

The thing that intrigues me, though, is that I’ve never before had a follow-up call or email from another media outlet after being quoted in one of them. There seems to me to be one obvious conclusion to be drawn from this:

Most journalists’ own newspaper of choice is the Sunday People.