Cheers, guys… When you contacted me and expressed interest in my blog post about Shire Oak reservoir, I was naturally flattered – everyone who creates a blog about anything on the net dreams of getting something into the conventional printed media, and the thought of getting a credit of some kind in the Express & Star was quite exciting. Imagine my surprise this evening when I happened upon the local evening paper to find there was a whole feature about Shire Oak Reservoir, complete with lead-in on the front page. The article was clearly derived from my earlier blog post, but bore no kind of reference whatsoever to the Brownhills Blog.
I was contacted after posting the original blog article by Richard Williams from the Express & Star, who was thinking about carrying a feature on the reservoir, but because I wanted to remain anonymous, he’d informed me that he’d be running his own version of the story. I mailed back saying that was fine, but it’d be nice to get a credit to the blog. I never a received a reply, sadly, and nor did I get credited. I find that a bit sad, to be honest; it doesn’t seem a great hardship to attach some acknowledgement to the source of a story, even if it is mid-paper filler such as this.
Grumping aside, there’s a glaring inaccuracy in the printed article – that offer to go halves on a proof reader still stands. The Google Earth image heading the article is hilarious – it doesn’t show the reservoir site at all, but it does highlight Brownhills Market! One assumes they visited the site, so it’s a bit silly not to be able to find it on a map. I bet that raised a smile amongst the locals. This isn’t unusual with articles in the paper about Brownhills – in this one they illustrated their article with a picture of the wrong construction site.
The cost was £464, not £463, by the way. From the passage that I quoted, it’s difficult to say whether that was the cost of the land or the whole project.
I have this message for the Express & Star – yeah, I was indeed flattered by your interest, and I guess I was naive to imagine that the local blogs are anything more than a hunting ground for easy copy. Should you feel like doing the same again, try investigating this story about Humphries House – those people really need some answers, and deserve more publicity than I can get them here.