I was interested to hear Ryan Day tell Hazel Irvine that one of the reasons he had never done particularly well in a UK ranking event before the recent Royal London Watches Grand Prix was possibly to do with the British press.
Ryan explains here (from around 3.20) that some stories had ‘got my back up.’
Myself and my fellow journalists couldn’t remember any stories in which he had been maligned.
Actually, Ryan hasn’t had that much coverage over the years (perhaps this was what he meant).
It brings into question the relationship between players and the media.
Journalists have a low reputation generally. This is because of the actions of a few hacks and their newspapers.
People usually say they don’t believe what they read in the papers but you soon find that the very same people base almost all their views and opinions on what they’ve read or heard.
In snooker, there is a small, committed group of journalists who cover the circuit, including the qualifiers.
Our relationship with just about every player is very good. They know we would never willingly stitch them up. Apart from the fact that we’re not like that, it would spell professional suicide as they would never talk to us again.
I’ve been told many things – often deeply scurrilous – by players over the years that I would never report.
Some would argue this is not a good thing, that the old principle of ‘publish and be damned’ should apply.
Perhaps they are right, but I have no wish to become snooker’s version of a ‘3am girl’ (for those outside Britain, they write a showbiz and gossip column in the Mirror).
Often it is simply the case that what has been written is misunderstood.
I don’t think Ryan really believes the media is the reason why he’s yet to win a ranking tournament.
But perhaps it’s a salutary lesson to those of us who wield a pen (or in most cases a laptop) that even the most inconsequential of articles may be taken the wrong way.