Don Your Way column: I love Donny, but if it needs knocking, I'll knock it!

Darren Burke loves Donny - but is allowed to be a critic too.
Darren Burke loves Donny - but is allowed to be a critic too.
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A regular attack levelled at me is that “I’m always knocking Donny.”

Time and time again, Facebook and Twitter followers will always tell me how much I stick the boot into the town, reminding me of how I should be supporting Doncaster and singing its praises.

Like many of you reading this, I’ve lived, worked, rested and played in Doncaster for all my life - 45 years in case you were wondering (no, I know I don’t look it).

In 26 years in the news game, I’ve written thousands upon thousands of stories and I’m prepared to wager that the majority of them have portrayed the town in a pretty positive light.

Business openings, new initiatives and projects, fundraising drives for critically ill people, sporting successes, celebrity visits and endorsements, I’ve pretty much done them all.

But, as soon as I hit my keyboard and pen something that dares to criticise the town I love and live in, the complaints invariably come flooding in.

But folks, I’m afraid that sometimes, you have to take the rough with the smooth.

The town we live in isn’t perfect and never will be. It’s our job to bring you all aspects of Doncaster life - both good and bad.

So there will always be reports on horrible crimes, business closures and things which don’t always paint the town in the best light.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Doncaster and am fiercely proud of it and have defended it to the hilt over the years.

But, like anyone who lives here, I’m not going to sit here and pretend everything is permanently rosy.

There are plenty of people in this town on social media who wear rose tinted spectacles and conveniently brush over the bad rather than admitting, hey, sometimes, Doncaster is a bit rubbish.

Surely better to highlight the issues and talk about them and things might get better rather than brush them under the carpet in the hope they go away and somehow magically improve on their own?

The role of newspapers has always been to hold people, places and organisations to account.

Now, thanks to like of Donald Trump and his parroted “fake news” agenda, its an easy insult to chuck around at and journalist writing a story that doesn’t quite fit with the programme.

And then of course, if enough people write and share that on Facebook or the like, your legit, genuine story suddenly becomes subejct to being bandied around as “made-up.”

Fair enough, everyone’s entitled to an opinion and journalists must be held to account for their behaviour and that includes yours truly.

But when you’ve got people describing a paragraph about roadworks as “fake news” then surely the balance has tipped too far in the other direction.

I love Donny - but if it needs knocking, I’ll knock it.