Opportunistic editorial: Toongerine nightmare

Ok, so it was a no-brainer. Who cares?Steven Taylor models Newcastle United's new change strip which has been dubbed 'Toongerine orange'

Newcastle United’s change strip was unveiled and it looked like something an Oompa Loompa would use to wipe his backside. I work for the Sunderland Echo. What could we do other than mercilessly take the proverbial?

We styled up our coverage as a quick turnaround SEO-friendly couple of pars with a pic, asking Is Newcastle’s new change kit the worst football strip in history? We used lifted copy from a sister title (thanks to Martin Hamer at the digitally excellent Lancashire Evening Post) for a quick retrospective of similarly vomit-inducing football fashion faux pas

Job done.

Many thousands of hits, most of them from local folk; a nice interactive element for the site – if only commenting was working at the moment; and a great talking point for visitors.

This may not be the noble journalism that wins awards, but it still gives me a thrill when we engage with users like this. Such content asks ‘is there anybody out there’. Thankfully the answer these days is usually a resounding ‘yes’.


  1. They are satisfying, these little ego hits. But as you say there’s more to it than that – proof that you’re doing something right and readers are engaging with it.

    I think the real opportunity, which you nailed, was to tie in to an existing feature – and top-notch visual link-baity stuff too.

    • leehall

      Definitely good for the ego when the hits spike.

      Also this approach is good for keeping your feet on the ground… When I worked on pre-online engagement magazines we assumed our in-jokes and larking were as funny to the readers as they were to us. But who knows?

      With the immediacy of the web the silence is deafening when you’re wide of the mark, but when you get something right they come in their droves.

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