I’m honestly developing a sense of deja vu here. Once again The Strictly Spoiler is becoming the subject of news articles in some newspapers and this time their moral objections have turned to the Children In Need Spoiler that was posted to this site a couple of weekends ago.
This is only the 2nd year that the Children In Need spoiler has been posted to this site and actually I had reservations before posting it last year considering this site is operated for profit and there is a potential moral issue from posting information about a charity special on a commercial site. However I decided last year that I would simply donate any revenue received from posting the Children In Need Spoiler to Children In Need.
The site made about £9 last year from the CiN Spoiler. Because Children In Need is a very worthy cause and one I was happy to support and a donation of £9 would have been a bit silly in my opinion I upped it to £20. And because I cannot claim gift aid on my charity donations I paid that too and donated £25. I made the exact same offer when I posted the spoiler this year but some newspapers seemed to completely miss that (quite important) detail in my spoiler post. In actual fact I was going to donate £50 this year however that changed (see below).
When the articles hit yesterday making out that by posting the Children In Need Special results I was taking viewers away from the telethon and therefore depriving it of donations I was genuinely upset by these allegations. Firstly its complete baloney! The CiN special is a small 20 minute part of a telethon that lasts the whole night. If the press think that just because people know that generic Boyzone member C won the charity special that it will stop them watching and stop them donating to a very worthy cause then the press are more deluded than I thought. Shouldn’t be too surprised though. The story originated from a newspaper (and I use that term very loosely) that last year claimed in big bold letters on the front page (because no other important world events were happening) that Strictly was in crisis because of me leaking the results for the not live results show. Again baloney!!
I’m far from a rich man especially with two sons to support and I’m a full time student at the moment but I do my bit to support charities when I can. In my younger days when I was involved in student rag I spent many a Saturday stood on the streets of Edinburgh, Glasgow and a number of other cities shaking a bucket trying to raise money for causes such as cancer research, help the aged and countless other good causes and when the media started to make out that by posting the spoiler I was depriving money from Children In Need my knee jerk reaction was to think “right I’ll show you”. So I donated £100 to Children In Need yesterday. So if you want to argue that some good came from the negative press I suppose you can. It doubled the donation I was intending on making to a very worthy cause.
As far as me posting the results for the Children In Need special it’s just like the Christmas Special (when I get labelled a grinch out to ruin Christmas) or the regular show. I run and operate a spoiler website for Strictly Come Dancing and my site’s visitors crave spoilers and I source and provide them with as many spoilers as I can lay my hands on. Even though I post the Children In Need Spoiler and the Christmas Special Spoiler to be perfectly honest not that many people view them when compared to the main series spoiler. The CiN spoiler has been viewed 25k times. Tops! The main series spoiler receives over 300k views at the weekend. Not many people care that Generic Boyzone Member C won the special but I’m still providing the service for those who do care.
Truthfully I’m amazed that newspapers still consider this site to be newsworthy. It was Remembrance Sunday yesterday which is another hugely important day and good cause to raise money for. The papers should have really been focusing on that because it is really important that we remember those who lost their lives fighting for us during the wars. I’ve also covered this countless times before in countless other posts responding to press articles in past and truthfully whilst the newspapers seem to like repeating themselves by rehashing old stories they’ve published previously I don’t. Not to mention with how lazy journalism is these days that once one newspaper publishes a story 6 others copy and paste the article changing about 2 words and republish it themselves.
Some elements of the press have been previously willing to engage with me and approach me for comments or my side of a story. The Daily Mail approached me for comment about a story 2 or 3 years ago on Twitter. I provided one and whilst I don’t normally agree with a lot of what The Daily Mail publishes I will give them credit where it is due and they published my comment accurately. I’ve also done an email interview with Sarah Deen of The Metro and again she published my comments pretty much word for word. I did these interviews or provided these comments for one very important reason……. they asked me! Interestingly I offered to give my email address to the journalist who wrote the original article for The Daily Star so they could contact me for comment the next time they had a slow news day. They declined (well ignored actually) the offer.
Truthfully, and I’ll be honest, I hate being the centre of attention like this when all I am doing is operating a popular website and providing a service to those who visit the site. Running this site during the winter months is like a full time job too (just not as well paid). I suffer badly with anxiety disorder and crap like this isn’t helping which then has a knock on effect to other parts of my life like university
Not only that but some newspapers are taking copyrighted content from this website, taking it out of context and using it to support whatever agenda their articles are promoting this week. That is going to stop. Normally Newspapers have an exemption to copyright when content is used for the purposes of reporting news however there is an important proviso. A sufficient acknowledgment to the original copyrighted work must be given. For the avoidance of any doubt a sufficient acknowledgement for me and my work must include the following:
- My name Dave Thorp, spelt correctly – The Star incorrectly attributed my content yesterday to a Dave Thorpe whoever the hell that is
- The name of this website, The Strictly Spoiler
- Most importantly, a link to this website
Should any of my content be used without a sufficient acknowledgement as detailed above an invoice will be raised at my standard rates. I am more than willing to engage with the media and provide them with comments should they think this site is newsworthy, not that I agree it is, and I have done before to media organisations. But I am no longer willing to be made out to be something I’m not, have my words twisted and frankly I am not willing to have my health suffer just because I’m doing something that some newspapers would love to be able to do themselves but they can’t because they wouldn’t get invited to any cool BBC events anymore. Enough is enough.
Finally I just want to thank everyone who supported me on Twitter especially this morning when I think I showed just how upset and frustrated I was getting in a tweet early this morning. I then managed to get a couple of hours sleep and woke up to a flood of tweets in support which was very nice to wake up to. So thank you guys!
Complaints to The Daily Star and others