By The Editor
The Suffolk Gazette does not deliberately go out to deceive the mainstream media. I very clearly state this is a spoof and satire site using a local paper format to write funny stories from Suffolk, and particularly its “friendly” rivalry with Norfolk.
Of course, some new visitors think it’s entirely serious and get taken in – that’s part of the fun for our existing community, which is growing on our Facebook page alarmingly quickly. When those people realise they’ve been had, they mostly see the funny side, and in many cases become regular readers.
However, a curious and laughable by-product of all this is that the mainstream media, so often po-faced about journalism and how only their voices matter, get sucked in and report Suffolk Gazette “news” as fact. I’ve told you many times about how national newspapers, magazines, serious websites, and international publications have all fallen victim to the Suffolk Gazette.
Yesterday, it went to a whole new level when star presenter Eamonn Holmes read out an old Suffolk Gazette story as part of the “Breaking News” coverage on Sky News in the hour following revelations about David Bowie’s death.
The passing of a legend is no laughing matter, of course, but Sky News picking up our Spice Oddity story about Bowie serenading a group of diners in a Suffolk curry house, which was published well before he died, takes the biscuit. Especially as we had added a note to the top of the story after Bowie passed, making clear his appearance in the Taj Maharaja in Bungay, which does not even exist, was a spoof.
I’m not poking fun at Eamonn here – he has a very difficult job when a major breaking story occurs like this, and can only repeat what is being fed to him in his earpiece by someone in the news gallery.
I happened to be watching Sky News when this happened, and I nearly choked on my breakfast corn flakes. Thankfully everyone has seen the funny side, although maybe not Eamonn, who probably wishes painful things on Suffolk Gazette staff.
But that means me. Because even though “we” might look like a well-oiled machine (and I don’t mean well-oiled as in drunk, although I am always asking you to Buy Me a Beer) this is just a hobby site, written and maintained by me alone in my spare time. This is not The Daily Mash or NewsThump, with teams of freelance writers and editors.
And that’s what I find so amusing – a hobby blog updated in spare moments to feed my creative desires gets picked up by mainstream media so often, or goes viral on social media, that it is becoming part of our lexicon. I’m now regularly seeing comments on social media like: “This is like something from the Suffolk Gazette”, or “The Suffolk Gazette should follow-up on this”.
It’s all highly entertaining, to be honest. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as me!