Neil Bonnar: If only newspaper letter writers would praise Bolton Wanderers once in a while...
11:00pm Thursday 6th February 2014 in Sport
IF I was of a mind, I wouldn’t have to follow Bolton Wanderers’ results to know if they were winning or losing.
I’d just have to check my work emails and see if I had any letters from fans or not.
If working on The Bolton News sports desk for 24 years has taught me anything it is that football fans only ever write to the paper to complain.
You can go weeks, months even, without getting a single letter about Wanderers.
Then, as if someone fired a starter’s pistol, a flood will come in.
I know when it’s going to happen, usually a few hours after the team has been jeered off the pitch.
The general rule is letters follow boos.
It’s good to get the feedback from fans. That’s what a newspaper is there for – to provide an unbiased platform for all sides of an argument to have their say.
And boy have we had them recently!
It all started when the goals went flying in past Andy Lonergan at Reading.
The worst defeat for almost 32 years was as guaranteed a green light to set a page aside for letters as you’re ever going to get.
And they came, and came...and carried on coming. You’ll find some today on page 54. There were some in Tuesday’s paper and we’ve got a few more waiting to go in tomorrow.
They’re all reasonable points from people who care about the club and just want to air their views in the local paper.
Like I said, that’s what we’re here for.
There is a difference between letters and emails that appear in a local paper and postings on other opinion platforms like Twitter and website forums.
And that is the views expressed in newspapers are, in the main, far more measured and sensible.
People have generally taken time to consider and construct their argument. And the reason for that is because they are accountable for what they say.
They have to have their name and address, or at least their area of residence, under their letter, so everyone knows who they are.
This is in contrast to social media and website forums which are the platform of choice for reckless and often cowardly keyboard warriors to publish ridiculous views anonymously.
That is not to say newspaper letters are a better class of opinion; just a more sincere one.
If only those who send them in would do so to praise Wanderers once in a while.