The news that The YamYam is to cease publication has caused understandable dismay in the burgeoning Walsall online community and is especially melancholic for this humble blog. Without The YamYam, this blog would have a readership of one and only read once just to check for spelling and typing errors.
Even if it concentrated simply on collating local news, The YamYam would be the envy of any town inadequately “served” by failing, traditional news media. One need only pick up a copy of the woeful Express and Star to see that local newspapers are doomed. The other day, the print version of the E&S ran an important front page story about the future of Bryntysilio, a place of relevance for thousands of Walsall children past, present and future. It did not appear on the E&S online news feed. The YamYam picked it up later not from a news report, but from a letter to the Advertiser.
If this vigilance in directing readers to local news was not enough, The YamYam links to sport and business stories. Where else would a fan of Bloxwich United find a match report of a 3 – 1 away defeat to Tividale FC and where else would you discover that Walsall has the highest percentage of empty retail premises in the West Midlands.
But, and declaring a personal interest, it is the comment section that gives The YamYam the edge over old media. All manner of raving lunatics are allowed to vent their spleen including councillors, lefties, righties, worms, pigs, edible fungi, old baggages, cycling gods from Brownhills and even a polypropylene river horse. Here, again, The YamYam has the advantage as most of the rants, rages and ridicule are, with the exception of the plastic migrant from Botswana, articulate, informative, intelligent, entertaining and passionate. Compare this to the real crack-pots who write letters to the local printed press. Why oh why oh why. It’s disgusting.
The sadness at the passing of The YamYam is not, however, universal. Clearly the established press will be pleased to see the back of this upstart, accusing such sites of plagiarism and ignoring the levels of traffic being directed to their own websites. Other will no doubt crow that online news sites will always fail because they cannot make money. Perhaps not today, but the Murdoch’s of this world are looking over their shoulders and shuddering. The future is not behind a pay wall.
Far from being sad, the incompetents who rule Walsall will celebrate the end of The YamYam. With an ineffective political opposition, the comment section offered the only channel for challenge and criticism of the small group of men and women who are ruining this town. They hate being held to internet account.
If aliens, lurking beyond the dark side of the moon are watching us and monitoring our internet traffic, even a quick look at the main page of The YamYam will give them an accurate description of Walsall. Try it for yourself and imagine that you lived far, far away. With The YamYam gone, the little green men will have to rely on the council website, patronising tweets from the council press office and the ridiculous What’s On Walsall to paint a picture of the borough.
The YamYam was our last defence against the death rays.
Adieu YamYam, and thank you.