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Bucks Free Press

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Comments

  • @floyd said:

    @drcongo said:
    I don't have any useful BFP feedback for you beyond this public service announcement: Please don't, under any circumstances, visit the BFP website without some sophisticated adblocking installed - at the very least in your browser, but if possible also at the network level.

    This is the map of network requests made visiting the BFP home page:


    Live version here.

    Every one of those red, purple or green dots is a connection to ad networks and spyware. And all of those are then making requests to more ad and spyware networks. The BFP is just a data harvesting machine and it's impossible to know where all the data they harvest about you is actually ending up, but I can say with some degree of certainty that with that level of tracking, someone, somewhere is able to connect that data specifically to you as an individual.

    Genuine question Doc, presumably whoever runs the BFP website is aware of this issue. Are they unable or simply unwilling the stop it? And if so why?

    It's not by accident and the website is probably not the BFPs as such, it'll either be a group thing or a template. Merging several papers "content" has become the standard alongside clickbait and auto ads that fire ads and/or share stories at users depending on their (harvested) history. Usually it's laziness or a lack of staff / expertise, but it's hard to see how you can get decent money out of a website people don't want to use.
    I'm probably not quite as privacy sensitive as the good Dr but won't be heading to the BFP site anytime soon with what people have said above.

  • And I can confirm that the good Doctor has removed Google analytics from the Gasroom, making it tracker free, so our ramblings are no longer of any use to anyone (including each other most of the time)!

  • Thanks @drcongo, i'll forgive you for confusing me with another Worldwide Wanderer.

    Sadly all too believable.

  • The BFP is only writing about The Wanderers because that is the only sport going on just now. However I know from my contact with another sport that they are not interested, even if you submit the content to them. The Maidenhead Advertiser on the other hand is very different and receptive to whatever is sent to them. A lot of the BFP building at Loudwater has been rented out which would indicate how much the operation here has shrunk and I think some of the work goes on in offices elsewhere.

  • @floyd said:
    Thanks @drcongo, i'll forgive you for confusing me with another Worldwide Wanderer.

    Sadly all too believable.

    You're almost the same person in my head purely through being "over there". My sincerest apologies.

  • I think I should also apologise to @OldEchoMan for what I've done to his perfectly innocent thread too. Sorry @OldEchoMan.

  • No apology required @drcongo Itโ€™s hard for me to reconcile my formative journalistic days on the Evening Echo in Southend with the travesty of local newspapers these days. The Echo was a five day a week paper that sold over 60K in its pomp in the late 70s, early 80s. There were three, sometimes four broadsheet pages each night, filled with terrific writing. There were three weekly papers in the group, the Southend Standard, Basildon Recorder and Thurrock Gazette.
    Iโ€™m transgressing a little but I wanted to know how the BFP covered local sports in this new day and age? If I was in charge, it would cover every element of Wycombeโ€™s affairs with a forensic, fascinated raft of stories, interviews and photographs. To be reduced to what I read is an appalling abrogation of the paperโ€™s community responsibilities. The club and the county reserve far better.

  • Even โ€˜deserveโ€™

  • @arnos_grove said:

    As he was not into sport, Alan Cleaver insisted our coverage had to be on pages 2 and 3 as he said a free paper would land on the doormat facing either up or down and if people who didn't like sport saw a football report they would probably bin the paper. That's why The Star randomly had general news stories front and back.

    That sounds like an astounding thing to say. Some sort of David Brent/Partridge cross over.

  • edited February 26

    On fb for a good number of weeks, I noticed one young BFP writer would constantly link to his online articles.

    Anyone can make a mistake, but his articles would have absolutely shedloads of them. As if he'd written them casually while watching a film on another screen or something.

    Not sure if someone had a word, or if he's still there, but I've not seen any articles linked from him since.

  • All I can say is that I rarely look at the online version, as the paper version is much more user friendly. Coverage of WWFC is pretty good in my opinion.

  • Not entirely surprisingly, the BFPโ€™s best coverage of WWFC coincided with the period when the editor was also a club Vice President.

  • @drcongo said:

    It's a pretty sad state of affairs, especially considering the comparatively healthy state of regional news in the US - but news in the US has always been regional. Even the national newspapers over there are regionals that just got big.

    Late to this, but sorry to say itโ€™s sadly the same in the US. The existence of โ€œnews desertsโ€, where the local newspapers have gone out of business leaving social
    Media as the only source of information, is seen as one of the main issues that contributes to the current issue with echo chambers and partisan extremism on both sides.

  • @OldEchoMan said:
    No apology required @drcongo Itโ€™s hard for me to reconcile my formative journalistic days on the Evening Echo in Southend with the travesty of local newspapers these days. The Echo was a five day a week paper that sold over 60K in its pomp in the late 70s, early 80s. There were three, sometimes four broadsheet pages each night, filled with terrific writing. There were three weekly papers in the group, the Southend Standard, Basildon Recorder and Thurrock Gazette.
    Iโ€™m transgressing a little but I wanted to know how the BFP covered local sports in this new day and age? If I was in charge, it would cover every element of Wycombeโ€™s affairs with a forensic, fascinated raft of stories, interviews and photographs. To be reduced to what I read is an appalling abrogation of the paperโ€™s community responsibilities. The club and the county reserve far better.

    Do you think there's a market for what you describe if you were in charge?

  • Agreed ,Apart from its historical name, I wouldnt be concerned if the BFP went out of Business, as both the printed and online versions are now appalling.
    It would leave a vacuum for someone to create a worthy read for the district and county, rather than Newsquest money making scheme we currently have.

  • I donโ€™t like the online version because of the reasons already stated regarding the bombardment of adverts, but I think itโ€™s over the top to describe the print version as appalling. Why do you think itโ€™s so bad?

  • Living out of the area I only see the print version on visits to my parents. It still seems reasonable to me and last time I saw it there was more coverage of Holmer Green, my local village team, than there was when I was growing up. I agree that the Wasps years were unfortunate given that the club had few attachments to the town, but in reality a lot of local people did go to watch them so I'm not hugely surprised that a side who were one of the most successful rugby teams in Europe at the time got a lot of coverage.

    I wish that the website was more useable. Living at a distance it would be the obvious place to go for me to keep up to date with independent news about WWFC but also about the area I grew up in, but it is completely unreadable.

  • During the Wasps years, the BFP coverage was absolutely disgraceful and bordered on disdainful towards the town's football club.

    The reputational damage done in the eyes of Wycombe supporters will, if it's not completely irreversible, need a huge PR campaign to persuade us that it is in any way near its former glories.

    As far as I'm aware nothing of the sort has taken place, although they do appear to have given Alan Parry a column so he can go to games so fair play to him for that.

    The BFP Wycombe coverage was at its very best in my opinion when Pete Lansley was reporting. The end of that era was not one of the finest in the club's history. He would be a fantastic guest on Phil's podcast so he could give his version of those events.

  • The problem at the moment is lack of resources and lack of staff. They have just one young journalist in charge of the sports pages and he also has to work on the news output. Thatโ€™s why I offered to do a column for them, because I felt that such an historic season for the club should be properly recorded for posterity, although there are now so many games that itโ€™s become more of a series of match reports.

  • @53cheese said:

    @drcongo said:

    It's a pretty sad state of affairs, especially considering the comparatively healthy state of regional news in the US - but news in the US has always been regional. Even the national newspapers over there are regionals that just got big.

    Late to this, but sorry to say itโ€™s sadly the same in the US. The existence of โ€œnews desertsโ€, where the local newspapers have gone out of business leaving social
    Media as the only source of information, is seen as one of the main issues that contributes to the current issue with echo chambers and partisan extremism on both sides.

    My experience of the regional papers over there is obviously limited, but Iโ€™m definitely aware of quite a few that are still infinitely better than any regional over here. The Austin Chronicle is a good example - still locally owned and run and producing great local reporting with a real community benefit - better than any of the nationals in the UK.

  • @drcongo said:

    My experience of the regional papers over there is obviously limited, but Iโ€™m definitely aware of quite a few that are still infinitely better than any regional over here. The Austin Chronicle is a good example - still locally owned and run and producing great local reporting with a real community benefit - better than any of the nationals in the UK.

    Agreed there a some wonderful exceptions and the Chronicle is one of them, but in last 15 years a quarter of local newspapers in the US have closed down and the majority of whatโ€™s left are referred to as โ€œghost newspapersโ€ - where theyโ€™ve been gutted to a shadow of their former selves. I think thatโ€™s whatโ€™s happened to the BFP and many, many other local newspapers here as well. Problem is the old business model doesnโ€™t work anymore and the new ones canโ€™t fund the same size newsrooms. Even Warren Buffet has sold up having long been a supporter of local news. My suspicion, having been on the commercial side of media for over 25 years, is weโ€™ll see a return to the pre-advertising model of journalism where output was dependent on a stupendously wealthy benefactor. We just have to hope/trust that there as many or more that have genuine interest in quality journalism (Powell-Jobs, Bezos so far, Benioff so far) as shysters with an axe to grind (fill in your own choices here)

  • @eric_plant said:
    During the Wasps years, the BFP coverage was absolutely disgraceful and bordered on disdainful towards the town's football club.

    It was also extremely disdainful to the town's long-established local rugby club.

  • I've lived in a rural mid-sized college town (a bit smaller than HW), and a state capital (much bigger than HW), and they both managed to produce daily, multi section broadsheets with good quality journalism and great coverage of the local sports teams. They must both face many of the same issues the BFP face. Maybe it just comes down to what the owners are in it for.

  • This week's BFP had 3 complete pages on Wycombe.

    Not sure how much more people would expect?

    There's not any non league action going on at the moment, and the Wycombe combination got scrapped anyway didn't it? (as well as obviously it wouldn't be on right now either).

  • @Malone said:
    This week's BFP had 3 complete pages on Wycombe.

    Not sure how much more people would expect?

    There's not any non league action going on at the moment, and the Wycombe combination got scrapped anyway didn't it? (as well as obviously it wouldn't be on right now either).

    Spot on, Malone.

  • Pete Lansley for Ringing the Blues is a good shout @eric_plant. He did a great job at the BFP and was really supportive when we were doing our old fanzine.

  • @Malone said:
    This week's BFP had 3 complete pages on Wycombe.

    Not sure how much more people would expect?

    There's not any non league action going on at the moment, and the Wycombe combination got scrapped anyway didn't it? (as well as obviously it wouldn't be on right now either).

    Theres no doubting the focus on Wanderers has got better, that's not the issue now. Even when all the local and grass roots stuff is going on, there is low to zero coverage. Plus, football isnt the only sport that exists, cricket, squash, table tennis, darts, pool, plus others I cant remember always used to get a mention in the sports pages, now they dont exist, apart from Cricket in the summer. Also, the Sunday combination is still going, just not as many divisions as years ago. I think it was the village Saturday league that folded a couple of years ago.

  • Yes, the Saturday Wycombe & District League folded at the end of the 2018/19 season with just 6 teams competing in a single division. Rewind 50 years when it was known as the Wycombe Combination it was a top league including teams such as Holmer Green, Flackwell Heath, Beaconsfield and Burnham in its top flight. The BFP used to print probable team line ups for the following days matches.

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