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  1. #1
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    Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Tom Jonas (of Port Adelaide) recently wrote an article about the media and their lack of professionalism. I thought it was particularly relevant to our club seeing as we constantly receive unprofessional and frequently incorrect commentating.

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    At Simonds Stadium recently I conducted a stock standard post-match radio interview. Firstly, they introduced me as the son of North Melbourne and Central District great Peter Jonas. Iím not.

    Secondly, they made note of our recent away trips and stated that going to Tasmania to play the Hawks the following week would be another tough one. I agree. It would have been. If it were true. It wasnít. We were back at home in front of our beloved fans.

    A week earlier two TV commentators were setting up for a regular pre-match interview with me, chatting away before the camera started rolling. Or at least they thought they were. However, I was still in the change rooms. The ĎTomí they were talking to was a somewhat confused Jack Hombsch. It was an honest mistake, but not an isolated one. These sorts of errors by the experts who cover our game are unfortunately far too common.

    These inaccuracies arenít confined to Port Adelaide, but theyíre the ones I notice for obvious reasons. Nor are they confined to commentary teams, with print publications guilty of similar misinformation.



    It was previously reported that Jackson Trengove played a vital pinch-hitting role in the ruck while Paddy Ryder was injured for parts of last year. HmmmÖ Iím pretty sure injury wasnít the reason he couldnít lead our ruck. And how often do you see the best players in the paper on a Monday morning and notice the misspelling of a name? At least I donít have to worry about that one!

    I could go on but I think you get the point.

    The AFL is part of the entertainment industry. What matters to the big boys at AFL house is getting bums on seats, television viewership and ultimately the bottom line. This is more than fair.

    The recently completed CBA negotiations signified the playing groupís own interest in being partners in a thriving industry that fosters an equal, financially viable and most importantly, entertaining product for fans. The media forms an integral cog in the AFL machine.

    It acts as a conduit between players, the clubs, the AFL and fans. The growth in media coverage is THE major reason our game is in such a strong position and players enjoy such a privileged lifestyle.

    Not all of the coverage is serious and nor should it be. But a certain level of professionalism should be universal.

    However, while players are rightly expected to perform in a professional manner on and off the field, the same standards donít seem to apply to those who cover the game.

    In todayís commentary circles itís alright not to know the names of the players running around on a Saturday afternoon, provided of course you played a couple of hundred games of VFL/AFL footy and can have a bit of banter with the lads.

    I love the theater and insight that these personalities bring to the telecast, as does the general public, but surely there must be some accountability.

    These individuals achieved what they did because of hard work. Is half an hour of research before calling a game, sitting on a panel show or writing an article too much to ask?

    Itís no coincidence that the likes of Dennis Cometti and Bruce McAvaney are among the best operators Iíve seen ó just ask Bruce how much preparation he does before a Friday night call, and heís loved for it!

    Most of the errors are relatively harmless, I agree. And I get it, people make mistakes, but isnít that what editors or producers are for?

    To provide some perspective, when we make a gaffe(s) the commentary team usually pick up on it first. We might even get a mention in the worst on ground votes after the game. Then scrolling through Twitter or leafing through the paper on a Sunday you get to see what the footy experts and general public thought or didnít think of your efforts.

    Lastly, the coaching group take notice. They are our editors, charged with getting us to perform.

    Many of you reading this might be thinking, ĎStop complaining and play footy. You get paid well and live a great life because of the media coverage you get.í I canít argue with that, but the consumers of media deserve better, too.

    Players, coaches, administrators and support staff are accountable for their words and actions, why shouldnít the media be?
    I should leave it alone but you're not right

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  3. #2
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    That is a great write up by Jonas.

    It does highlight how poor most of the media actually are.
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    The worry is as newspapers die, and all the good journos leave, opinion pieces will take over as the news. You look at the Age, and Rohan Connoly is gone, Emma Quayle, Martin Flanagan and many others. Who the hell is writing the stories?

    The media sends along some graduates to the press conference, who know little about the AFL armed with little research and you get all these mistakes. Sub editing is outsourced and suddenly we have inaccuracies, mistakes and overall bad reporting.
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Fantastic write up. I am a big fan of the NBA, the difference in professionalism between NBA and AFL 'journalism' is astounding. It's almost a badge of honour/'cool'/funny to proclaim how you don't watch games in footy media. Being aloof etc.
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Marcus Picken, Jesse Stringer and Brad Boyd concur
    Last edited by Sedat; 15-07-2017 at 09:32 AM.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    This has been a hobby horse of mine for many years, especially the appallingly amateur hour coverage that ch.7 brings to the game.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Marcus Picken, Jesse Stringer and Brad Boyd likes
    I don't want go to on a rant but I think it stems from Australia really thinking being educated = wanky. We prefer journos who are drunken slobs and mock ones who are educated as complete nerds/geeks or even in a borderline homophobic manner. Our footy media reminds me of the movie 'Idiocracy'.
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Btw just to further a point about lack of quality in AFL media, Damian Barrett has said the two following things in his "surely written purely to be mocked" sliding doors column today:

    If you keep telling us you are fully committed to coach this club THEN ...it is freakish how often you have your name linked to other clubs. It's not all random speculation, Brad. But you know that"
    He also makes a comment about how Collingwoods 3 inclusions are the best of the week (Moore, Wells and Howe), while mentioning that Gold Coasts are inferior (Ablett, Hanley and Hall).
    I should leave it alone but you're not right

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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco Jones View Post
    I don't want go to on a rant but I think it stems from Australia really thinking being educated = wanky. We prefer journos who are drunken slobs and mock ones who are educated as complete nerds/geeks or even in a borderline homophobic manner. Our footy media reminds me of the movie 'Idiocracy'.
    Yep, anti-intellectualism is a badge of honour in Australian media and the AFL media is certainly no exception.
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by soupaman View Post
    Btw just to further a point about lack of quality in AFL media, Damian Barrett has said the two following things in his "surely written purely to be mocked" sliding doors column today:



    He also makes a comment about how Collingwoods 3 inclusions are the best of the week (Moore, Wells and Howe), while mentioning that Gold Coasts are inferior (Ablett, Hanley and Hall).
    A few weeks back in the same column he made reference to Buddy Franklin sleeping better tonight knowing Cale Hooker is out injured.

    Cale Hooker has been a forward all year, and it's not like it's been a sneaky little move that's gone unnoticed.. There were weeks of reporting on how little impact Hooker was having as a forward.

    This is apparently from the best in the business.
    The Western Bulldogs are taking over..

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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco Jones View Post
    I don't want go to on a rant but I think it stems from Australia really thinking being educated = wanky. We prefer journos who are drunken slobs and mock ones who are educated as complete nerds/geeks or even in a borderline homophobic manner. Our footy media reminds me of the movie 'Idiocracy'.
    In Australia, we prefer our footy journos to have no journalistic training or skills because if you can kick a footy, you can surely write about it.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    In Australia, we prefer our footy journos to have no journalistic training or skills because if you can kick a footy, you can surely write about it.
    or call a game on commercial radio or Channel 7.

    I like the way 774 use professionals to call the games
    Premierships: SENIORS - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, 2014, 2016 . AFL 1954, 2016. RESERVES - 1938, 1945, 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998. UNDER 19S - 1954. Other Premierships - Championship of Victoria 1924. VFL Night Series 1963-64, 1967, 1970. Preseason Cup, 2010.

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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytee View Post
    A few weeks back in the same column he made reference to Buddy Franklin sleeping better tonight knowing Cale Hooker is out injured.

    Cale Hooker has been a forward all year, and it's not like it's been a sneaky little move that's gone unnoticed.. There were weeks of reporting on how little impact Hooker was having as a forward.

    This is apparently from the best in the business.
    Not by Damo apparantly.
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  15. #14
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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Yep, anti-intellectualism is a badge of honour in Australian media and the AFL media is certainly no exception.
    Newman prides himself on his lack of knowledge (respect) of any player, other than himself and Polly Farmer, who has played the game. It's a tiresome and belittling narrative that he's run with for his entire career, and in return has been awarded the most lucrative sporting media career in this Country. Go figure.

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    Re: Players Voice- Tom Jonas

    It's not just footy media and its mass of followers that don't like intellectualism, our politicians (predominantly of a particular persuasion) revel in telling us all how we're sick of intellectuals or experts telling us what to do all the time.

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