So, it seems today may well be the last for The YamYam
If it was just another blogger calling it a day it would be sad. But let’s face it, life’s like that. People have a burst of enthusiasm, blog dementedly for a couple of years*, then move on to twitter, facebook or… just get a life. It happens all the while. But, believe it or not, even when (self-proclaimed?) blogging ‘experts’ and ‘superstars’ like Iain Dale and Tom Harris exit stage left, people respectfully express their regrets and move on. The cemeteries are full of people who they or others thought were indispensable.
But The YamYam has meant something different to a small black country town like Walsall. We are talking of a place that has no newspaper worthy of the name. The nearest you could come to that description is the Express and Star, (colloquially known as the Express and Swastika in these parts) – a truly woeful production if ever there was one. Just a quick glance at their website will show you exactly how hopeless they are. Just a mish-mash of national feeds and trivia, and an almost total absence of… journalism. If a chimp with a typewriter, given enough time, could write the works of William Shakespeare, it could post a piece on the Express and Swastika website within a couple of weeks.
The YamYam aggregated news relevant to Walsall and the Black Country. And yes, it did feature some ‘news items’ from the Express and Star, and from the nationals. But with TheYamYam you always got the feeling that the site cared about the area. It wasn’t a ‘journalist’ passing through the black country on the way to a better paid opportunity with the Chiltern Advertiser or the Bristol Evening Post, scrabbling away looking for muck that might make a scoop. If The YamYam’s editor, Mark, published a piece which slammed the local council, it wasn’t to score a point or denigrate the Town, it was because he cared. Because he lives there. It was his Town too. You only have to browse some of the bloggers Mark regularly featured and greatly encouraged, Brownhills Bob, The Plastic Hippo, The Mushroom, and Clayhanger Marsh Log to name but a few, to know that they shared that passion.
As someone who, if I put it gently, had less reason to be fond of Walsall than Mark and his regular contributors, I deeply admire this loyalty and commitment. As the mainsteam media swallow up smaller titles into national publishing empires to monopolise their advertising revenues, they have effectively taken the local out of local newspapers. The YamYam gave that back to people in Walsall, and it will be greatly missed.
I hope, and firmly believe, that Mark will find this baby too difficult to give away though. The withdrawal pains must already be gnawing away, so hopefully, it’s au revoir, rather than a fond farewell we’re bidding. My next post on this issue will hopefully be to welcome back a revised and revamped YamYam that will be easier for Mark to manage. But for now… thanks for the ride.
*This blog would celebrate it’s seventh birthday tomorrow… but as there is no 29th February this year, I’ll let out the year with a whimper!