Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
It’s a mantra which is extremely apt where one local downmarket rival newspaper is concerned.
In 2016, the Olive Press reported carefully on the shocking claims that well-known Marbella animal shelter Triple A was under investigation for cruelty and animal trafficking.
While we reported on the raid by 15 policemen and the claims of the courts, we dedicated over half the front page story to denials and comments from supporters.
It ended with a quote from the charity that it was ‘carrying on as normal’ and it ‘was not at all true’. We even ran a feature supporting the charity a couple of months later.
So we were as shocked as anyone when after three years of probing, a Judge in Marbella decided that six members of the shelter, mostly former employees, should face charges of fraud, animal cruelty, falsification of documents, social security fraud and more.
Yet, when we reported this on our website last week, the same day as various local Spanish papers, we were hung out to dry from a screaming mob of Facebook executioners.
Calling us ‘irresponsible’, ‘one-sided’, ‘biased’ and even dubbing our story ‘fake news’, predictably, they bleated on for hours.
That until they noticed perhaps, that the charity itself had even confirmed the news. Or read the Sur in English last week.
So what on earth can explain the behaviour of shoddy local rag, the Euro Weekly News, which decided to use these incorrect comments in a bizarre attack on both this paper and its publisher last week.
Over an entire page in its October 31 edition, it ran quotes that we had ‘slaughtered’ Triple A, that we were ‘contradictory’, ‘badly written’ and ‘made no sense’.
It even called on our readers to boycott our paper and website, which has grown three times bigger than theirs this year, with no payment for links.
Well, we have some advice for the owners of the EWN: Stick to stealing stories, as you admitted to a month ago in an email sent to our reporter Joshua Parfitt, who complained about many of his being copied.
Stick to your diet of 80% advertising, including hundreds of sex ads, and no sense of reporting rules or impropriety.
Leave the actual journalism to real newspaper groups like ours, that stick to IPSO rules and employ journalists with NCTJ training.
When it comes to an issue as serious as killing pets improperly, fraud and worse, it takes a proper paper to understand the issues.
If members of Triple A end up guilty of these heinous crimes we hope they will be firmly punished. If they are absolved we will be the first to report on it.
The jealous Euro Weekly News will no doubt copy it from our website – a day after us – as they normally do!