Cadet reporter fired for ‘even-handed, positive’ NRL coverage
A cadet journalist from an unnamed metropolitan daily newspaper has been fired after repeated breaches of the media corporation’s style guide relating to rugby league reporting.
Gloria Lewis, a 20-year-old Perth-born, Sydney-based Melbourne Storm fan, was ordered to remove her belongings from the dingy cubicle she shared with four other cub reporters.
She was escorted out of the building into near-cyclonic conditions on Monday night after turning in an opinion piece described by her supervisor as “even-handed, bordering on positive and completely inappropriate for our rapidly decreasing readership”.
The supervisor, who spoke to us on the condition he remained anonymous and stressed that he hadn’t watched a game of rugby league since being moved to the sports desk from the social pages in 1995, said he first noticed trouble-making signs from Lewis in May.
He was concerned with what she filed in her match report from the 2012 State Of Origin opener in Melbourne.
“I just couldn’t believe what I was reading,” the supervisor fumed.
“The 750-word piece praised the atmosphere at Etihad Stadium, the dominant play of the New South Wales forward pack and the attacking skills of Jennings and Hayne out wide.”
“She then the resilience of the Queenslanders and the fact that it was one of the most intense State Of Origin games of the past decade,” he continued.
“She also wrote about the chronological ebb-and-flow of the contest in great detail, giving readers a real feel for how the game unfolded.”
“Less than one-fifth of her report focused on the Jennings sin binning and Inglis’ try decision by the video ref!”
“Why weren’t those two incidents – which comprised almost one whole minute of the 80 minute contest – the only things talked about?”
“It was a rookie error, so we pulled the story and let her know she had two chances left before she was out.”
The Roar understands Lewis was given a second written warning when her report on the possible expansion of the NRL into Perth revealed it would be best achieved at the expense of an inner-Sydney club.
The final strike came when her opinion piece on the departure of NRL CEO David Gallop presented both pros and cons for the leadership styles and achievements of Gallop and ARL Commission chairman John Grant.
“She didn’t even mention what sort of car Grant drives,” our source scoffed.
“What sort of rugby league journalist would overlook something so important?”
Lewis, though disappointed by her employer’s decision, remains philosophical.
“I brought it on myself really,” she told The Roar through tears while busily poring over the statistics from Sunday’s NSW Cup clash between the Newtown Jets and Windsor Wolves at Parkes.
“My obvious love and passion for the game of rugby league were always going to count against me.”
“When you take into account that, given my age, I’m also completely unencumbered by the politics of the Super League war – not to mention a woman – I think it’s best for everyone involved if I’m kept away from the greatest game of all for the rest of my life.”
Lewis has been immediately snapped up by the AFL’s media department, where her love of phrases like “courageous 66-point loss”, “inspirational warriors of the new frontier” and “impressive attendance of 8,972 dedicated fans” has seen her appointed as official match reporter for the Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants.
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