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ARU: The wrong people are being asked the right question

Argyle Roar Guru

By Argyle, Argyle is a Roar Guru


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    I have learnt through credible confidential sources there is an ARU board member and members of the broader Australian rugby community, who have influence on such matters, who do not support Robbie Deans continuing as Wallabies coach into 2013.

    This is despite Australian Rugby Union Chairman Michael Hawker stating there was “very little chance” of a change of national coach in his recent interview with The Australian.

    If you read into the language used by Hawker – who stated, “There is no view to moving the incumbent on until there is reason to,” and, “There is very little chance of a change” – at no stage has Hawker confirmed Deans will remain 100%.

    Furthermore how much credence can be given to these comments when Hawker has exempted himself from the review process?

    Robbie Deans’ Wallaby coaching future has been left up to John Eales, George Gregan and Brett Robinson to determine as they form the review panel. Perhaps they might determine there is a reason to change the national coach?

    Time will tell, however Hawker, by his own exemption, is providing comment on a subject out of his control.

    I am in possession of documentary evidence that strongly indicates at least one ARU board member thinks the Wallabies were lucky in their recent victories over Italy and Wales.

    Furthermore, this board member believes Robbie Deans has no idea when it comes to tactics and selections and will leave Australian rugby in a worse place than when he found it and a complete ‘clean out’ is required.

    Interestingly though, the ARU board member does not appear to have any idea on who should replace Deans, if he indeed is to be replaced.

    I can only interpret from this that the much respected Ewen McKenzie is not a certainty if the position were it to become vacant. This is not a bad thing as McKenzie and any other party should actually have to apply!

    It appears the ARU is treading gently but with intent and does not wish to expose the possibility of a new coach until a new CEO is in place. All is calm, move along, nothing to see here!

    What alarms me is clearly the ARU has never adopted the notion of succession planning for the position of national coach. I can only interpret the plan was that Deans is the man until further notified.

    This is just clear amateurism when you consider how the All Blacks develop their coaches. How long as Steve Hansen been a part of the All Black fold?

    What is encouraging is that there is at least a review to determine if Deans is to remain. The manner in which Deans was firstly appointed then re-appointed to the position was inappropriate and should never be repeated.

    In considering this information I can only conclude the ARU is taking a leaf straight out of the Australian political arena by forming its own ‘judicial enquiry’ and will take its recommendation on the coaching issue from the Eales, Gregan and Robinson review, which I suspect will come before the announcement of the new CEO.

    This will essentially distance the current ARU power-brokers from making the final decision and leaving the new CEO to potentially sack Robbie Deans as one of their first orders of business in the chair if his coaching review is unfavourable.

    About the time I came into possession of this evidence I had a long conversation with an associate, who is a former Queensland Red and Wallaby, who appears to be well versed in the current machinations concerning the broader Wallaby playing group.

    Without disclosing my documentary evidence, my associate volunteered that it was his understanding there were senior elements of the playing group who liked Deans as a person but not his coaching methods. That there were at times unclear and fortuned favourites.

    Furthermore Deans has a total lack of man management skills and failed to develop a genuine homogenous group culture.

    What was expressed to me in no uncertain terms by my associate was, in his opinion, Ewen McKenzie was the best coach to fill the role due to his ability to develop a team culture and a game plan that can be executed.

    Furthermore, McKenzie is widely respected by many Australian players from outside the Red’s program.

    While I support the notion of a panel review, I am not too sure if John Eales, George Gregan and Brett Robinson are best qualified to actually determine who our next national coach should be, as none of this trio have any professional coaching experience.

    That is not to say their opinions should not be considered, but don’t we have a raft of successful coaches in this country who understand what the requirements of a successful coach are?

    Why are Alan Jones, Dick Marks, Peter Crittle, Bob Dwyer, Rod McQueen and John Connolly not being asked to conduct this national coaching review when they are some of the most successful rugby coaching brains Australia have ever produced?

    In my opinion, when it comes the future of the Wallaby coaching position, the wrong people are being asked the right question.

    What are the ARU scared of – a qualified informed answer?

    Editor’s note: At the time of publishing, The Roar could not confirm the opinion in this Roar of the crowd.

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    The Crowd Says (257)

    • December 17th 2012 @ 8:10am
      Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 8:10am | ! Report

      Interesting article UA – fingers crossed!

      • December 17th 2012 @ 1:08pm
        Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

        Yes its interesting and imo Deans should have gone after the WC but not becuz his man managment is poor becuz, lets face it, Quade Cooper is something else and Giteau had probs wherever he went and under pretty much all coaches.
        I think the culture is wrong but that that is not Robbies fault exactly, just as it wasnt exactly MJs fault that the English team had a “bad” culture.
        It is no secret that the “rockstar” image and lack of conviction of some of the younger players in the Wallabies has caused probs on and off the field.
        Having said that, there seems to be a lack of respect for Robbie and the admin. I see the reason for this as being complicated but the main reason is that Australian rugby is lacking in depth and has more comp for the limelight than any other country and therefore people and players have power that they perhaps shouldnt. Certain clubs and players have the ARU by the balls and every so often they give a squeeze and the ARU seems to jump. This is a problem. Its one thing for club and country to work together bit a different thing when the indians are telling the chief what to do and letting the world know about it.
        I dont see Deans as being the problem but I do see him as being unable to deal with it, partly becuz he is hogtied by the circumstances he finds himself in.
        Also the idea that a guy whos been coaching for about 20 years at the highest level with Hansen, Mitchell, McCaw, Nucifora, Cotter, the ABs, The Crusaders and The Wallabies not knowing anything about tactics is beyond stupid. I mean to even suggest that a guy could get the job with the Crusaders, ABs and Wallabies without knowing about tactics…
        It is not reasonable to blame Deans for all the ills of Australian and Wallabies rugby this year, infact its rediculous. The Scot games timing, the injury crisis, the lack of form from Beale, Cooper and others, the weakness of the scrum against Fra, the poor execution of game plans by poor kicking, the need to win no matter how in order to secure a top 4 spot and the Wallabies mixed form is not ALL Robbies fault. Its simply not. Thats reasonable and rational. Many people need something or someone to blame, taking into consideration all of the factors is not easy enough. Not being able to concerntrate all of your anger at one person is not as satisfying so people hear what they want to hear and dismiss the rest and what they want to hear is that it Robbies fault.

        • December 17th 2012 @ 1:56pm
          Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

          Even though this is an interesting article, lets debate the definition of the word objective by giving our own definitions (which is kinda ironic), debating semantics, asking the philisophical question “is anyone truely objective” and doing it for post after post until we start insulting each other.

          • Roar Guru

            December 17th 2012 @ 2:04pm
            PeterK said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

            talking to yourself again Hightackle 🙂

            • December 17th 2012 @ 2:13pm
              Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

              No. Thats called adding to my post. If there is another way I dont know it.
              Im not sure how posting anything on the net can be called talking to yourself but thats becuz I think.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:14pm
                Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:14pm | ! Report


              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:29pm
                soapit` said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                you could reply to the original post you replied and not your own comment perhaps?

      • December 17th 2012 @ 9:46pm
        Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

        Yeah maybe soap or maybe I will just keep doing what Im doing becuz Im cool with it.

        • December 18th 2012 @ 9:35am
          soapit` said | December 18th 2012 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          doing it hightacklestyle

    • December 17th 2012 @ 8:33am
      Darwin Stubbie said | December 17th 2012 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      Interesting piece – but I’d have been more surprised if there wasn’t a few dissenting voices at the ARU about Deans – if he’s anything he’s polarising …. his wallaby selection and the mgmt of them has been pretty woeful – which only goes to show the strength of the grip JON had over the whole thing

      But would you really need a lengthy review process which included Alan Jones, Bob Dwyer and John Connolly … I would have thought a 2 min phone hook up would suffice

    • December 17th 2012 @ 8:39am
      kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      I read an article by Wayne Smith saying: ‘Meanwhile, it is understood at least one ARU board member does not support the retention of Robbie Deans as Wallabies coach for next year’s British and Irish Lions series.’

      As no source is cited, and no hard evidence provided, I will choose not to believe this any more than rumours one hears in other contexts. Besides the Wayne Smith is so continuously critical of Deans that uncited evidence cannot be welcomed with immediate belief, as it might be with a less continuously critical writer.

      That article, entitled ‘McCall endorses Reds chief for ARU’ somehow ended with the subject of Deans’ retention, after another article ‘ARU says coach quit’ on the departure of conditioning coach Ashley Jones, became largely concerned by the end with Deans’ retention as well ‘ARU chairman Michael Hawker has all but guaranteed Deans will retain his job through to the British and Irish Lions series, insisting there was “very little chance” of a new Wallabies coach being brought in to replace him.’

      It goes without saying that Smith is highly critical of Robbie Deans, and one must assume his retention as head coach as well.

      Will all Wayne Smith’s articles end with references to Deans’ retention, whatever the article’s titled subject? Those on cricket will at least be exempt.

      • December 17th 2012 @ 8:59am
        Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        That’s because Wayne Smith doesn’t lose sight of his ultimate goal no matter what he’s writing. Do you remember his articles through late 2010 and all of 2011? Nearly every one of them linked in some way to poor governance by the ARU – he keeps fighting the good fight until he wins. The review happened, its recommendations have been adopted, there is genuine hope that the issue has been dealt with, certainly there is work to be done, but the new governance structure has to be looked at after a year in operation not prejudged – so problem sorted. Next problem – pathetic coach. Go you good thing Wayne Smith.

        • December 17th 2012 @ 9:11am
          kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          Red Kev, but isn’t Wayne Smith supposed to provide a balanced appraisal of Robbie Deans? If he continuously brings up his retention while casting it in a negative light, ‘fighting’ as you put it, then his appraisal of Deans is surely not balanced but one-sided?

          Shouldn’t journalists provide balanced commentary, and not have as their ‘ultimate goal no matter what he’s writing’ the removal of the coach they’re supposed to be writing objectively about?

          • December 17th 2012 @ 9:19am
            formeropenside said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:19am | ! Report

            but “balanced” on Robbie Deans means he has to go. Objective means coming to an opinion fairly, not having no opinion at all.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 9:46am
              kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

              Nonsense, fos.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:03am
                formeropenside said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

                as to the meaning of objective, or your view that Deans must stay?

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:06am
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                No fos, objective means giving the arguments for his going and the arguments for his staying and not favouring one or the other.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:14am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                No kpm that is not what objective means – that is an example of bias towards fairness. In case you don’t know it means that you are preoccupied with giving equal voice and weight to all sides of an argument regardless of their validity. It is the absurd point of view that one J Howard imposed on the ABC when he forced through regulation that mandated that for every second of news or commentary that aired on the ABC that was critical of the (his) government there had to be a balancing second of positive broadcast. If it sounds ridiculous that is because it is.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:23am
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                Don’t be silly.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:31am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                While it is indeed silly, that regulation regarding the ABC is historical fact and the ‘bias towards fairness’ in the media is a real documented issue.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:40am
                Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                Ur just repeating themes from the show “the newsroom” now and “the bias towards fairness” has nothing to do with what we are talking about.
                Bias towards fairness relates to giving both sides of an argument equal coverage and respect even when one side (ie the tea party) is completely bonkers. How you can relate that to something as superficial as who coaches the wallabies is preposterous.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:45am
                linz22 said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                No it doesn’t kpm, it means coming to a conclusion without the interference of bias. What you are saying is absolutely ridiculous, and nobody would ever read any sports articles if it was the case. Articles are written by people and therefore bias will always exist, but good articles are based on the objective collection of data and always strive to minimise bias. However, an opinion is not the same as bias, and i think you are getting “objective” confused with “facts”. writers have the right to an opinion one way or the other, they most certainly do not have to balance every argument as you suggest, they simply have to try and remain objective in their collection of information. i suggest to you that if a writer gave equal arguments for and against Deans that he/she would be exhibiting a lot of bias in Deans’s favour because the “againsts” would always outweigh the “fors”.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:45am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                I didn’t know the newsroom reported on Australian domestic politics circa 2000, interesting.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 11:22am
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 11:22am | ! Report

                linz untrue, opinions and objectivity are not the same.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 12:09pm
                linz22 said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                KPM did you even read what i wrote? At what point did i say that opinions were the same as objectivity? Honestly, i think you are just getting confused. you seem to think that objective reporting is the presentation of facts for and against, this is nonsense and if it were the case journalists would just be replaced by computers. objective reporting is when a journalist bases his/her article on objective data. what you are saying is that a conclusion one way or the other is not objective because it does not provide a balanced argument, this is absolute rubbish. conclusions can be objective, or do you also think that a conclusion/result of a perfectly scientific experiment based on accurate objective data is false because it decides on an answer and does not sit on the fence objectively??
                Honestly, your whole argument does not make any sense at all.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 12:19pm
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

                Well, a quite extraordinary definition of objectivity but one which would doubtless serve any ends.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 12:28pm
                linz22 said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                at what point did i give a definition of objectivity? i simply stated that journalists are entitles to a conclusions based on objective fact, and just because there is a conclusion does not necessarily make it subjective, as seen in the results of a scientific experiment.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 12:33pm
                linz22 said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                i think it is your lack of objectivity when it comes to Deans that makes you blind to any argument but your own. i personally have no issue with Deans at all, i could not care less if he is a Kiwi, i base my opinion solely on what i see on the field and take into account the many other factors that are contributory which are outside of Deans’s control.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 12:36pm
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

                In that case you are to be congratulated linz on objectivity, however you wish to define it.

                Few could claim the same on the issue.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 12:46pm
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

                Including you kpm.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:00pm
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                In your, apparently objective opinion.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:29pm
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure that I’ve called myself “objective” anywhere in this thread.
                I have “objectively” reviewed and considered Deans’ tenure in charge of the Wallabies and found him wanting (or graded him a failure if you prefer). However an “objective” review of my stories on the matter and posts would find that while I may have started out “objective” I have since become entrenched in my position (which tends to happen when a situation drags on and on with no action or resolution).
                Exactly the same would be said of you.
                Oh and the reason I have put “objective” in quotation marks every time I wrote it in this post is that you seem to be using it as some sort of catch-all word to show that you’re right and everyone else is wrong.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:30pm
                post said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                Apparently the dictionary is wrong guys. Objectivity no longer means to reach conclusions using facts and ignoring bias and opinion. KPM has spoken.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:32pm
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                There’s a question a little lower down the page you haven’t got round to answering RK.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:33pm
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                If you bothered to read you’ll see I have in fact answered it.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:38pm
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                Didn’t see it, so is that a yes, no?

              • December 17th 2012 @ 1:43pm
                Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                The best def of objective in the instance is “unifluenced by emotion”.
                Something that very few Wallabies supporters could claim.

                “A bias towards fairness” wtf? How can you be bias and fair? Isnt that a contradiction in terms? To be fair does not mean to even things up through bias.

                Anyway, many who want Deans to go are NOT objective. A few who do are.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:14pm
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                Bias towards fairness is a concept that comes about by trying too hard to be “objective”.
                Refer to the example I cited from J Howard’s government in the late 90s / early 2000s and the ABC (which is when I first encountered the notion that the news was about more than reporting the facts).
                Jutsie is right that it is most recently and succinctly referred to HBO’s program The Newsroom (on Foxtel in Australia). The show’s creator gave the following quote when asked about it earlier in 2012:

                “I don’t see the liberal bias—and I’m trying to—that I hear about,” he says. “What I do see is a bias toward fairness, a bias toward neutrality, a bias toward false equivalency. That if a Republican has lied, it’s important that we find a Democrat who’s lied and make them equal, whether they are or not.
                “Most of us have been raised to believe that there are two sides to every story, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And that’s simply not always the case. Sometimes there are five sides to a story, but sometimes there’s just one. Sometimes the truth doesn’t lie in the middle, it lies squarely on one side or the other.” But “you’ll never hear the word ‘lie’ on network news when something is plainly a lie.”

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:31pm
                Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

                Kev, the guy making that comment is wrong and that is not gospil. He says something about getting 2 liars. That 2 different stories. Taking into account everything about the 1 liar and taking a balanced, unemotional perspective however , that is objective.
                He also says that sometimes there is 5 sides to a story. Yeah no sh1t and the saying is not to be taken literally. Also you must take into account the 5 sides. There is NEVER 1 side to a story, ever.
                To dismiss Robbies past, the scedule, the injuries, the loss of 3 captains, the form of key players, the must win nature of the year, the draw with NZ, the win % dispite the difficulties, last years 3 nats win, the Quade Cooper fiasco and many other things and say its all Robbies fault is not fair or objective and to take them into account is not bias towards fairness.

          • December 19th 2012 @ 7:07am
            wannabprop said | December 19th 2012 @ 7:07am | ! Report

            Smith is writing an OPINION piece here, just as Mark Ella also does for The Australian, Reporting is what Georgina Robinson does for the SMH. Steve Samuelson(sp?) (SMH) gave a clear explanation of this on another thread (regarding Campo’s complaints I think).

        • December 17th 2012 @ 9:11am
          Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          what ever happened to journos reporting the details like they are supposed to without framing the narrative?

          • December 17th 2012 @ 9:20am
            formeropenside said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:20am | ! Report

            this has never, ever happened.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 9:46am
              kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:46am | ! Report

              It happens all over the world with objective journalists.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 9:53am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:53am | ! Report

                Sorry kpm but that’s incredibly naive. The only truly objective journalists are wire service reporters who put out facts and only facts the moment they happen. Every other news piece in the world on that same story will be slanted by journalistic bias based on the facts they stress to those they downplay, whose comments and reactions they choose to report and even which “experts” they choose to consult on the effect/meaning of events.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:00am
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                That’s untrue RK, many are as neutral as lies within the compass of human possibility.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:10am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:10am | ! Report

                Truth and lies are moral ambiguities. There are simply facts. Everything else is commentary.

        • December 17th 2012 @ 9:50am
          Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          Sorry kpm and Jutsie but no – journalists are not supposed to report facts devoid of commentary. Journalists are often referred to as opinion makers for good reason, they are mostly far more informed and closer to the action than the general public and what they convery carries weight. Journalistic opinion isn’t a bad thing unless they try to pass themselves off as completely impartial.

          • December 17th 2012 @ 9:58am
            Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:58am | ! Report

            BS RK, you act like your an authority on everything. Where is your journalism degree? I studied media & communications for 4 years and I can tell you it is not the job of journos to report stories with framed by their own biases unless they specifically state that it is an opinion piece. Yes this rarely happens nowadays (hence my question) but that doesnt make it right! The job of a journo is to report the fact so we can form our own opinion instead of force-feeding us their own opinion in the hope that they steer the argument.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 10:01am
              Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

              Junior journalists yes, senior ones no.
              I guess since you know so much about this that you’re a widely respected senior journalist somewhere? Didn’t think so.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:06am
                Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                your hubris blinds you to your own ignorance.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:07am
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

                Jutsie it is certainly extremely difficult to disentangle what is opinion and unsubjective reporting in the writing of Smith on Deans.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:12am
                Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:12am | ! Report

                KPM i dont even have an issue with w. smith personally as generally I think he is a good journo and TBH the case of deans is not that big an issue for me in the grand scheme of things (its rugby after all) but this sort of attitude towards journalism in general (and particularly political journalism) really riles me up.
                I find it funny that people like RK jump to w smith’s defence and his journalistic integrity but are the first to lambaste spiro for partaking in the same sort of biased journalism purely because he agrees with smith but disagrees with spiro.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:16am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                pots and kettles in that example jutsie. The difference is respecting the journalist, not what they publish (I haven’t even read the article in question).

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:25am
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:25am | ! Report

                In this case someone like Smith has vast influence, far more than humble online pseudonyms.

                So what he writes should be subject to criticism, positive or negative, in the same way that he and other rugby journalists are able to hold coaches and players to account.

                A rugby journalist can sway a player or coach’s career, has a huge readership, and yet they are rarely held to the same scrutiny as those they write about.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 11:05am
                allblackfan said | December 17th 2012 @ 11:05am | ! Report

                I am a subeditor of almost 25 years experience here in Aust and overseas, and Jutsie is correct.
                If a journalist runs a story critical of someone, he has to attribute it otherwise that is an opinion piece and should be identified as such. Journalists must ALSO be objective and balanced ie write on both sides of an argument without favouring one side.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 11:23am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 11:23am | ! Report

                Well the article in question isn’t tagged opinion so I guess it isn’t critical of Deans at all and kpm is jumping at shadows.
                With all due deference to your years in the industry, while I agree with both you and Jutsie about what is supposed to happen, it is plainly evident that this is a long way from what actually happens.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:40pm
                soapit` said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

                allblackfan. not all sides of an argument are equal. journalists do make decisions about what to leave out.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 3:15pm
                allblackfan said | December 17th 2012 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                soapit, journaliists may not make that decision. Its subeditors like me who cut a journalists story. It could be for legal reasons, it could be a sub like me sees red and says that’s opinion and cuts it!
                Journalists can be lazy when they write a story; they may run one side of the story then the other so when the sub has to cut a story, they start from the bottom. (Very slack, I prefer to cut as I go) which has the net effect of making a story seem unbalanced by the time its ready to be printed/published online.
                And a story needs balance. It does not need to have equal amounts of space devoted to both sides (usually because one side doesn’t want to talk!) but it must have both sides. The old name for journalists was “reporters” because they were required to report the news, not become the news.
                Hope this helps

              • December 17th 2012 @ 3:49pm
                soapit` said | December 17th 2012 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                abf, im not really interested in the breakdown of how papers work but thanks for the effort.

                my point is if news only reported things which can be guaranteed as fact then we’d only get the basic match report/scorecard. there is interpretation there (was that a good break or a poor tackle or both).

                the vaccination debate is a classic example. both sides don’t really need to be reported equally. these days the same could be said of any issue, if you look hard enough at any “fact” you’ll be able to find somewhere a different side that disputes it. reporters/subeditors/whoever make a decision to leave that side out i assume by using their using their judgement

              • December 17th 2012 @ 5:37pm
                Chivas said | December 17th 2012 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

                Try reading Red Kev. The fact that he studied it for four years might mean he actually understands the various media and the history of the media.

                Quite simply many newspapers throughout the world had a large number of objective investiagive journalists. Over time this was expensive and you could capture the attention of the public more easily with opinion pieces. Simply copy and paste a story from somewhere else write a few words and fill up the rest of the paper with ads. It’s a business and you don’t need to send a journalist on the road and days and weeks to get a story.

                Watch Al Jazera, read Hunter S Thompson’s book on the Hells angels, with a view to learn. You can form your own judgements, but the information is put out there so you can draw your own conclusions. The alternative is let someone else think for you and spout back the same rhetoric.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 6:09pm
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

                Chivas instead of automatically attacking anything I post you ought to actually read as well.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 6:43pm
                Chivas said | December 17th 2012 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

                Funnily enough RK, I read what you wrote and responded to your point about what constitutes sports journalism.

                Anyway RK how can anyone help but read your comments, they are same ones repeated ad infinitum.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 2:38pm
              soapit` said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

              who gets to decide whats fact jutsie? theres very little in this world that isnt open to some amount of dispute about whats true.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 5:43pm
                Chivas said | December 17th 2012 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                And on that we agree, but some journalists strive to report the story as they see it unembelished (i.e. don’t add their own opinions). But your point is it is only one angle is a true one. If you didn’t see it or hear about it, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. But I guess that is why you need to listen to more sides of the story… but without the hysteria and opinioins.

                You know if you read an article in todays rags… like the Daily telegraph which is probably the worst, you could pick the facts out and have no more than 3-4 facts in a whole column. People want the colour, the abuse and the sarcasm, because well it’s more colourful. I mean there is a reason Alan Jonesis so popular. He’s a nasty, loud mouthed, bigot…. but guess what, that stuff sells.

                I think this is another reason why literacy is dropping in Australia, because the content of the discussion could be more accurately called a rant than objective journalism.

            • December 18th 2012 @ 1:34am
              Crazy Horse said | December 18th 2012 @ 1:34am | ! Report

              Unless of course they are working for any of the Murdoch owned publications when that is exactly their job although the biases are Murdoch’s.

          • December 17th 2012 @ 9:59am
            kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            Ok, so RK you’re saying that it’s ok for Smith to make the dismissal of Deans as his ‘ultimate goal’ for which he should always be ‘fighting’, and that this is fine as a journalist as he doesn’t need to be impartial?

            Just so I know.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 10:03am
              Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              It is perfectly acceptable for senior journalists to work towards something for the betterment of a situation.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:23am
                Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                Just because u say so doesnt make it the case. Its against the journalistic code of ethics.
                I’m guessing you have no issue with murdoch employees pushing a global warming sceptic argument or reinhardt taking over fairfax so she can push a pro-mining and anti mining tax/carbon tax agenda

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:42am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                There is a difference between ownership influence of editorial content and journalistic opinion. Something you should know if you actually did an undergraduate degree in media and communications. The idea that journalism is objective is quite simply fallacious; what is critical is identifying bias and understanding it while reading or watching the “news”.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:47am
                Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:47am | ! Report

                Whether it is owners or senior journos it is still the same case of people using their influence to frame the argument to suit their own needs.
                And taking it back to the original point that KPM made he wanst taling about smith writing an article about dean’s position which was biased towards him getting sacked, KMP was referring to smith mentioning dean’s position in every article he writes even if the main topic is not deans related. That is framing the argument.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 10:51am
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                And as I pointed out originally – he did exactly the same thing regarding ARU governance for the past two years. Why didn’t you or kpm whinge then?

        • December 17th 2012 @ 12:34pm
          p.Tah said | December 17th 2012 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

          It was actual JON pushing for the governance change. In his autobiography he wanted it when he joined the ARU. He got part of the way but it was too much too soon back in 1995/6. It wasn’t until the government threaten to pull funding that he had the driver to bring the final change with the Arbib report. Yes, Wayne Smith has been champion it as well. Who would have thought those two would agree!

          • Roar Guru

            December 17th 2012 @ 1:29pm
            Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            I think it just shows that Wayne Smith isn’t necessarily anti JON, anti Deans or anti NSW. He just wants what’s best for the code in this country and will call a spade a spade.

        • Roar Guru

          December 17th 2012 @ 1:28pm
          Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          The Internet is a marvelous thing.

          We have a keyboard warrior pom sitting in his dark cold living room on the opposite side of the planet thinking he knows more about the inner workings of the ARU than one of the most respected and level headed Rugby journalists in Australia if not the World.

          Only in the Internet Age!!

          • Roar Guru

            December 17th 2012 @ 1:44pm
            sheek said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:44pm | ! Report


            Just a point of clarification, Uncle Argyle is an Aussie who lives in Brisbane. That’s assuming you’re referring to Uncle as the author.

            Merely a clarification.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 1:56pm
              stillmatic1 said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

              think jggles was referring to wayne smith, sheek.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:03pm
                Red Kev said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                I think Jiggles meant Wayne Smith is “one of the most respected and level headed Rugby journalists in Australia if not the World”. Not sure who he was insulting as “keyboard warrior pom sitting in his dark cold living room on the opposite side of the planet”. I thought Ben.S (who hasn’t posted in the thread) was the only guy actually in the UK who posted regularly on The Roar.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:12pm
                stillmatic1 said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                i think jiggles is referring to KPM, red kev.

              • Roar Guru

                December 17th 2012 @ 2:46pm
                Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                Ben S. has good views on rugby and I trust his judgement a lot. He doesn’t wade into these political rumour articles much and generally his assessment of Deans, if ever given, is based on the performances of the Wallabies. Definitely not who I was referring to Kev.

              • December 17th 2012 @ 2:56pm
                kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                And I have very little interest in political rumour articles, or generally the politics of the ARU which are as boring as they are fruitless: the results rarely work out well either.

          • Roar Guru

            December 17th 2012 @ 2:41pm
            Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

            Wayne smith is the jurno. KPM is the pom.

            UA’s article is spot on from my mail too.

            UA I think we may know the same people…

            • December 17th 2012 @ 2:47pm
              kingplaymaker said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

              Really? Not sure how you got to that: having lived somewhere and with some of the blood doesn’t change your nationality.

        • December 17th 2012 @ 5:30pm
          Chivas said | December 17th 2012 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

          I have just completed reading through this conversation. I agree with KPM and the reason is that the same as Alan Jones and other radio shock jocks, Wayne Smith to me is someone who likes to make loud extreme statements with bias. Quite simply it sells.

          I read a book sometime back on the Itaq war written by a war correspondent. It didn’t take any side, but rather gave a detailed account of events leading up to, during and after the war. Hunter S Thompson is another investigative journalist who reports on facts, rather than adding in supposition and rumour. If they do they clearly identify it as such. As a result the reader can come to their own conclusions.

          But people love hysteria and amongst all the yelling and screaming it is difficult to see the facts. Nobody is interested in them anyway. And. This doesn’t mean I am pro Deans. I don’t see it that way. I don’t belong to any specific group, but I am interested in the facts, but Journos are too lazy to do any real work. May as well write an opinion piece.

          Speaking of laziness. I opened the sports pages in the Herald today… a few pages on cricket, league and soccer in the SMH. Where is all the journalism. Nothing to report… and that is the attitude and fickleness of many so called sporting fans and commentators in Australia and why the sport suffers in the toilet.

          • Roar Guru

            December 17th 2012 @ 5:48pm
            Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

            “Hunter S Thompson is another investigative journalist who reports on facts, rather than adding in supposition and rumour.”

            Say What??

            That is the complete opposite of what Thompson did! Heck he is seen as the founding father of a style of writing where the author’s experience and opinion on the subject matter becomes the central thesis of the topic at hand. You need to read his articles about Nixon, NFL, horse racing and politics to see this. He was incredibly biased and opinionated, but at least he was honest about his own bias.

            • December 17th 2012 @ 5:57pm
              Chivas said | December 17th 2012 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

              Not everything though Jiggles, I didn’t see his opinion come through in the Hells Angels book. Yes he hated Nixon and i haven’t read that although I’m interested to. Nixon was a bad man and that was a particularly ugly time… I just finished reading Keith Richard’s version of events on the matter :-). greaat read by the way if you haven’t read it.

              • Roar Guru

                December 17th 2012 @ 7:19pm
                Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

                It’s been a number of years since I read this book so my memory is a bit sketchy.

                The book was written in the early 60’s when the motorcycle/outlaw culture just became prominent, with the general consensus of the time being that bikies were nothing but anarchic hoodlums. In my view, Thompson was somewhat sympathetic to their position and excused their behaviour, as he believed they existed in a society in which they could not fit. I got the feeling he was trying to blame American society as a whole for creating a culture that could marginalise a group of people and force them into this type of lifestyle. He was even sympathetic after they bashed him to an inch of his life. This fits very nicely with his general view of the broken American Dream, so therefore wouldn’t this be his bias in this book? The broken American Dream is a central thesis in most of this works and it is used to justify his positions, a lot. I have a problem with the notion of the broken American Dream because I don’t believe it is a tangible idea to begin with therefore cannot be broken.

                Anyway this is a rugby blog so we should stick to that 😉

            • December 17th 2012 @ 5:59pm
              Chivas said | December 17th 2012 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

              Anyway I will apologise if Hunter S was a bad example :-), you still know what Iam driving at 🙂

              • December 17th 2012 @ 6:14pm
                Jutsie said | December 17th 2012 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

                Lol hunter S the godfather of gonzo journalism, he usually made himself the subject matter of his articles, love the man!
                Chivas have you seen fear and loathing in las vegas? bizarre but brilliant film.
                But as jiggles says above at least hunter s never purported to be impartial and it was clear his pieces were opinion pieces.
                I have no issue with a journo giving their opinion as long as they make it perfectly clear. It similar to the jones/laws cash for comments saga, its ok to advertise if u make it clear its a paid advert.

                But yeah I feel bad for going down this path of argument, wayne smith is a good journo, I usually enjoy reading his pieces although this year I have found his constant pro qld/anti ARU theme a little tiring. Even harry a reds supporter agreed with me about this after smith’s reporting of QC turned down a french contract that would make him “one of the highest paid players on the planet”.

                At the end of the day its just sport journalism and its not a big deal whether they are a little biased or not, I shouldnt have been so judgemental of smith.
                My issue is more with alan jones’, michelle grattans, sky news etc of the world rather than the wayne smiths.

              • Roar Guru

                December 17th 2012 @ 6:49pm
                Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

                You could probably use Spiro as an example, trying to pass his opinion as fact. Alan Jones, as Jutsie says is another prime example.

                Smith makes it pretty clear why he holds the opinions he does and try’s to argue it logically. He has supported JON in a couple of things and is quick to compliment but he isn’t going to try and tell anyone a turd sandwich smell’s like roses, which cannot be said for most of the Australian rugby press.

    • Roar Guru

      December 17th 2012 @ 8:39am
      PeterK said | December 17th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      UA – Once again a good article.

      I agree coaches should be part of the review. But ONLY coaches who do not want the job now and did not apply for the job before. So Alan Jones has to be excluded.

      McQueen and Dwyer would be good picks. Since they both were very successful intl coaches.

      For the 3rd I would have 1 player out of the 3 to add balance and a players perspective.

      I can only hope Deans is sacked.

      Honestly the finances are so poor they cannot afford to sack him unless the new coach agrees to work for virtually nothing the first year.

    • Roar Guru

      December 17th 2012 @ 8:54am
      Rickety Knees said | December 17th 2012 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      Good post Uncle – we have 2 world cup winning coaches. For me it would be a three man review committee – Dwyer, McQueen and the new CEO.

      Governance at the ARU is still murky, there is still an air of “Fort Fumble” about it. The new CEO has much to do.

    • December 17th 2012 @ 9:13am
      formeropenside said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      Ill be blunt: no matter what constitutional changes were made at the ARU, there is no way the NSWRU will let Deans go as coach until they can put up a NSW-candidate who can win it without it looking like 1996 all over again.

      If that means dragging down Australian rugby, well, we had to destroy the village to save it, as the saying goes.

      Really, is that not clear to everyone by now?

      • Roar Guru

        December 17th 2012 @ 1:34pm
        Jiggles said | December 17th 2012 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        It’s rather clear FOS, especially with all this nonsense starting lately that Cheika is now a candidate for the top job.

        Hopefully though they aren’t so daft as to think that Link is actually a Queenslander. He is from Victoria, and played for Randwick, NSW and Australia. He’d still probably be the coach of NSW if the board wasn’t so silly as to actually listen to Phil Waugh.

        Mind you because he has had more success with the Reds I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re willing to chop off their nose to spite their face.

      • December 17th 2012 @ 2:01pm
        Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

        You mean like Ewen McKenzie. Becuz he is from Vic via NSW unlike all three of the assitant coaches the Wallabies have at the mo who are all from QLD. They support a coach from NZ so Im sorry FOS but “objective” doesnt apply to you.

      • December 17th 2012 @ 2:09pm
        Hightackle said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        Also does it make you the best candidate if your team is winning. Im 100% sure it does not. If a great coach coaches a crap team, that team doesnt become champions. Also if a great team gets coached by an ave coach, that team does not always lose.
        Judging a coach on his team winning is not the best way.

        • December 17th 2012 @ 2:42pm
          soapit` said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          coaches of losing teams isnt a great place to start looking though.