Anyone who knows me (or follows me on Twitter -
@LauraSlade), knows that I love a big sporting occasion. The
Euros, Wimbledon…every Formula 1 weekend of the season. So,
imagine my excitement that, in just 11 days, the greatest show on
earth comes to our fair isle, bringing with it the most talented
and exceptional athletes to compete for the ultimate sporting
Call me naïve, but I sort of expected everyone to be excited
about it. Admittedly, I've spent the last 18 months or so
working with official Olympic partners, so perhaps I'm a bit closer
to the Games than most, but surely everyone gets what an amazing
spectacle it will be for Great Britain? Well it seems not…the
papers have been full of one negative story after another, whether
it be about ticketing, security (or lack of it), the branding
police, the great burger-debate or the crappy British
weather. Now, I get that it hasn't all been perfect - and
clearly there's still some work to be done to ensure London is
completely Games-ready - but do we really have to berate the Games
organisers for every set back? It's a pretty big event they
are trying to put on, so let's cut them some slack eh?
Stephen Hull (@hullstephen) at the
Huffington Post published his own take on it this morning '
Why have the media turned the Olympics into a bummer?',
explaining why the media focuses on the negative of London 2012
rather than embrace the positive. "Everything going well is not a
story," [he said] "It's just not."
And I get that, honestly I do. After 14 years in this
business, I get that shock headlines sell papers…but it saddens me
that, in doing so, we are dragging down the hopes and excitement of
the nation (well a significant percentage of them anyway).
Yes, the traffic will probably be a bit rubbish, and it will likely
rain at some point…but it's the freaking OLYMPICS! And
they're coming to London!
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, and I get that you
can't all be as excited about the Games as I am, but I think I
speak for everyone who is looking forward to it when I say enough
of the hate.
I'm not suggesting we ignore the problems, but perhaps the
newspapers could also include stories that inspire people to get
involved in the Games, whether at work (see the recent Octopus blog
about our #OfficeOlympics), with friends (who's hosting an Olympic
BBQ?!) or in their local communities. Positive stories sell
papers too…just think back to the Royal Wedding. There aren't
many happier occasions than a wedding, and papers covering the news
flew off the shelves. So come on journalists of Great
Britain…get behind the Games and inspire the rest of the nation to