The AFL media landscape has evolved over many years to become dominated by a tabloid-ized agenda. This is regrettable but to be expected.
The general populous seem to be infatuated with shallow trials and tribulations that delve into people’s personal matters.
However all is not lost. Like in the general media there is always a way to find intellectually digestible analysis and discussion.
With today being the launch of ‘FoxFooty’ Channel and the soon to be started ‘AFL Media’ organisation one can only hope both fly in the face of trash media.
The Majak Daw case and Andrew Krakoeur cases over the past week have been examples of how the media continually need to be spoon-fed moral ways to do their reporting.
North Melbourne suspended Daw from participating with the main AFL list with the only explanation given that he had breached rehabilitation rules. However the media could not settle on such a plain and in extravagant reasoning.
The Herald Sun ran with a half front-page picture and story about an indiscretion with a teammates girlfriend and some other undesirable dealings being to blame for Daw’s suspension.
Once these false allegations had been made North Melbourne coach Brad Scott explained the real reasons behind the suspension, which did involve money owed to a teammate, but were not as sensationalised as the Herald Sun’s version of events.
People make mistakes; young Daw did not deserve to be subjectified like he did.
Collingwood’s Andrew Krakoeur two days later was given time off from Collingwood due to ‘personal reasons’. As reported in The Age by Caroline Wilson the Collingwood media department chose to privately brief the media on the details of the brilliant forward’s reasons for time off.
Along with this they stressed they be respectful of this information. While whispers have ensued an undercurrent about what has gone on with Krakoeur there wasn’t the media feeding frenzy that occurred with Daw. Credit must go to the Collingwood Media Department for their handling of the situation.
However surely as a society we should expect the media to be more responsible with ‘information’ they receive. Many lambasted the Kangaroos handling of events but do we really need to tell the media how to report morally responsible and correct facts?
It is an indictment on the Herald Sun that they chose to run with the utter filth on Daw. He is a young kid who made a mistake. The reality is the general population wont remember Brad Scott’s explanation or that Daw is an AFL multi cultural ambassador who does much good for the game and the wider community. They will remember the front-page headline.
Fox Footy headed by Eddie McGuire and backed up by reputable scribes like square peg and round of Mark Robinson and Gerard Whateley on AFL 360 will hopefully be a reputable football think tank. Dermot Brereton will be part of the team as well.
It is ironic that his opinion is so considered, measured and most importantly right when in his playing days he was as rough and reckless as could be. Gerard Healy, Paul Roos and David King add to the reputable mix of talent the channel will have.
Even though Fox Footy is a News Limited company like the Herald Sun one can be quite sure that with the aforementioned names in charge it will steer clear of scandalous filth and focus on pure football.
AFL Media is another interesting dynamic entering football’s media landscape. It remains to be seen how it will operate given it is an arm of the AFL itself.
Will it be sanitised and fail to delve into controversial issues that could tarnish the AFL? Or will it run in the face of the AFL, like the Players Association, despite where it’s funding comes from?
The MLB and NFL have similar arms. Both have become the main spot for fans to go for the latest news. Their websites are phenomenal and a true fan’s delight.
In the past the AFL’s website has been cumbersome and slow. There was not enough news and up to date breaking stories and therefore it was not where football fans went first to get their fix. The Herald Sun and The Age provided this. Given the amount of funding the AFL see building an MLB or NFL media system as a vital thing.