The childish element of the media revert to ‘England mode’ 0

Who isn’t disappointed by what England did last night?

Going out of a World Cup always feels like being punched in the stomach, but there’s something about the press reaction which always accentuates the negatives.

Yes, big headlines produce big digital revenue - I get that - but at what point do we realise that elements of the media are cultivating a toxic atmosphere around the national team.

Here are some selected headlines from The Mail’s website this morning:

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.53.04(full article)

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.54.26(Neil Ashton - full article)

In all likelihood, both Neil Ashton and Martin Samuel were probably encouraged to be overly-negative about last night’s loss  - after all, The Mail’s business model now relies almost solely on provocation.  But even so, it’s all so laboured and contrived.  There are many, many excellent journalists working in Brazil at the moment, and some of the content produced by The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian has been superb, but there are some papers who use their writers solely as assassins.  They keep them in the shadows, allow them to make sloppy little videos from various beaches and then, when the time is right, they tap them for the head-shot story.  That’s Neil Ashton - he’s done nothing all tournament, yet here he is this morning, sniper-rifle cocked.

Demanding that Roy Hodgson be sacked?  Despite England failing at exactly the point they were expected to?

Certain journalists create an atmosphere of perennial doom around England, and they contribute to the inhibition with which the national team play.  There is never a ‘bigger picture’ with England, there is only ever a knee-jerk, hysterical response to individual results - one hand types an article about the need for progression and the necessity of growing back into the international arena, but simultaneously the other hacks at the keyboard, demanding that The FA rip out the infrastructure and start again after every setback.

It’s really, really tedious.

Papers need to be sold, websites need to be clicked - yes - but isn’t there a responsibility here to be fair, to be balanced, and to actually make an attempt at reflecting on events with some kind of context?

This drama-creation culture around England has to go, and we have to move past this never-ending age of ambulance-chasing.

Give Martin Samuel an article to write about Financial Fair Play or Michel Platini and he’ll do excellent work, but allow him to write about England and he reverts to entitled teenager mode - and the same is true with Ashton, albeit without any of the mitigating positives.

England haven’t been great in Brazil, but then this isolated pocket of journalists haven’t covered themselves in glory either.

This has got to step at some point.

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