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RFL Chairman responds to criticism


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#21 Johnoco

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:15 AM

I'm caught between two stools here because I do find the majority of RL journalists to be horrendously negative, and it's been that way for a long time. But I'm also thoroughly depressed at the nonsense coming out of Red Hall in recent months. Sigh!

Yes, when there is genuine criticism warranted, its hard to differentiate from the rest of the years whinging and bitching.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#22 Blind side johnny

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:17 AM

i agree. He isnt the CEO so he isnt even the right person to go into the detail.

I also agree that whilst the RFL have gone with an open and honest approach and trying to keep fans engaged, this is backfiring.

 

 

I agree with this comment in spades.

 

Too much moaning in RL.

 

.


Believe what you see, don't see what you believe.


John Ray (1627 - 1705)

#23 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:19 AM

I think you're doing the press a disservice; most writers are eager to talk up the prowess of the players.

However, if they have an issue with the governance of the game, they are duty bound to ask pertinent questions.

The irony here is that it's not all that long ago that several of our journalists were being accused of being mouthpieces for Super League, Lindsay etc.

This assertion was false then, just as the idea that they are doom and gloom merchants for the sake of it now is equally false.

The truth is, back in 96 the majority of writers agreed that radical change was needed to save the game; the difference now is that those same writers don't favour the radical changes that are currently on the table.

Our journalists are paid to report and interpret the news honestly and that's exactly what they're doing.

The real failing in rugby league is that it gives the media too many off-field 'sideshows' to comment on, rather than allowing the press to focus on the intricacies of the game itself.

#24 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:31 AM

One final thought: the biggest failing here is in the very public way that the RFL has handled this process.

Whether people favour the 'radical' 2x12 + 3x8 proposals, the one thing we probably can all agree on is that these plans were always likely to be controversial and would dominate the news agenda.

The fact that the RFL chose to unleash these plans in the year when we should be fully focused on a World Cup and has then allowed this debate to drag on in the public domain interminably is, in my opinion, a serious own goal.

#25 JohnM

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:33 AM

And if they had kept it all quiet???



#26 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:40 AM

And if they had kept it all quiet???


It would've been preferable in my opinion. It's quite clear that Mr Wood is the 'architect' of these plans and is pretty determined to push them through. Who knows, history may even present him as a genius.

However, where he's erred is in trying to seek public approval for something that was always likely to be contentious. And, in doing so, he's allowed the news agenda to be diverted from the World Cup at such a critical time.

#27 Just to be clear

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:57 AM

Using your chosen line of logic, should all political journalists toe the line and support the government's current 'austerity' measures, on the basis that 'talking it down isn't helpful?'

Personally, I'm glad we have journalists in life and in sport who are prepared to challenge and question rather than, as some of you are keen to advocate, a bunch of benign, RFL cheerleaders.


Just to be clear, if someone "challenges and questions" the government's austerity measures are they toe the opposition line and supporting it? And if someone "challenges and questions" opposition alternatives are they toeing the government line and supporting it?

That you think whenever anyone disagrees with the RFL they are being challenging and questioning yet those who agree with them on somethings are benign cheerleaders just exposes your own irrational prejudices.

Just because a journalist condemns something does not make them right, not precludes them pushing their own agendas.

Just because the RFL says something it does not make them wrong.

There is a big difference between challenging and questioning, and talking something down. To challenge requires refutation. To question requires listening to answers.

Constantly shouting "YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE WRONG!" is neither challenging nor questioning.

#28 Ackroman

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

For God sake. 

 

I'd rather have some insight and reflect on the potential benefits.

 

If Martyn has already made his mind up on it then I'm not interested and If I was Barwick I wouldn't have bothered with a reply. If someone with such "influence" can't hold his water long enough for the facts to get into the public domain then I'm equally not bothered.  Martyn's influence is measured by the number of papers he sells and I for one haven't bought it since Martyn took sides so early on. 



#29 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

Just to be clear, if someone "challenges and questions" the government's austerity measures are they toe the opposition line and supporting it? And if someone "challenges and questions" opposition alternatives are they toeing the government line and supporting it?

That you think whenever anyone disagrees with the RFL they are being challenging and questioning yet those who agree with them on somethings are benign cheerleaders just exposes your own irrational prejudices.

Just because a journalist condemns something does not make them right, not precludes them pushing their own agendas.

Just because the RFL says something it does not make them wrong.

There is a big difference between challenging and questioning, and talking something down. To challenge requires refutation. To question requires listening to answers.

Constantly shouting "YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE WRONG!" is neither challenging nor questioning.


Silly post. What I'm saying is that journalists are duty bound to interpret the news honestly/in line with their publication's standpoint. These opinions will differ markedly on some issues (note the difference in coverage of equal marriage between the Mail and the Guardian), whereas very occasionally there is a consensus.

Do you really think all of the RL journalists get together and decide 'let's all oppose the RFL on this one'?

Has it not occurred to you that it may just be that, on this particular issue, the majority (although not all) of the press disagree with the RFL's stance; it doesn't mean they are being negative for the sake of it.

#30 gingerjon

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

I'm caught between two stools here because I do find the majority of RL journalists to be horrendously negative, and it's been that way for a long time. But I'm also thoroughly depressed at the nonsense coming out of Red Hall in recent months. Sigh!

 

There are legitimate gripes with the sport.  There always are.  And these should be addressed.

 

But I do have a major problem with the way in which the journalists who cover the game - who are the only voices most people outside the bubble of obsessive fans who cluster on internet forums hear - are so remorselessly negative all the sodding time.  Things really are not *that* bad and the game on the field is as brilliant as ever.


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#31 Johnoco

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:50 PM

There are legitimate gripes with the sport. There always are. And these should be addressed.

But I do have a major problem with the way in which the journalists who cover the game - who are the only voices most people outside the bubble of obsessive fans who cluster on internet forums hear - are so remorselessly negative all the sodding time. Things really are not *that* bad and the game on the field is as brilliant as ever.

Absolutely.

For the zilionth time, there is nothing wrong with having journalists who question things and offer an alternative point of view. But constantly denigrating everything for the sake of it is not only extremely boring, it's also damaging to the game.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#32 faithfulbyname

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

Just to be depressed, An RFL figure attacked for trying to do their job and promote the game. Again.

It is an open letter, not a strategy document.

He is a non-executive chairman, not an officer.

It is his opinion and response to the negativity that is damaging the sport's reputation.

The fact that no one can accept his letter for what it is, with people instead condemning him for things he has not said just illustrates how big this problem. The response from journalists resorting to ridicule and acting like they should be beyond question is the most arrogant and depressing thing. I want Barwick and Wood looking for sponsors and building up the game, not constantly having to fight the constant tide of unconstructiuve attacks that make their job more difficult.

Tony Hannan said in response that "if you are a journalist & you 'talk it up' then you ain't no journalist. You're a spin doctor. Aim for the truth" If he thinks that the truth can never be positive then he ain't no journalist either. If he thinks knocking something down you disagree with is journalism and not spin doctoring or yourself then he ain't no journalist.

(And just how boring must Tony Hannan's match reports be that he could never praise a game or a player because that not be journalism but spin doctoring. Just a load of technical statements saying someone passed, kicked, or tackled, with no description of how good or exciting any of them were.)

The biggest problem with rugby league reporting is that the line between journlism and editorial is blurred to the point of almost non-existance. Whatever someone thinks of, say, the 2x12 3x8 proposal is not journalism, it is opinion. Journalism is saying what it is. Journalism is investigating why it is being implemented, by whom, on what basis, what support it gets, how will is be judged, what analysis has been done for and against it. Journalism is saying what should be done instead on a factually researched basis. Saying "this is not good", saying "I think we should do this" is not journalism.

Just to be clear, Sadler's editorials are by definition meant to be opinion and not journalism, but for that reason they are also no more relevant to the overall debate than anything posted on this site. And just as he gets to use his prominent position to express his personal opinion, then Barwick has every entitlement to respond. And in a perfect world he could do so with the likes of Chris Irvine mocking him for it, but such low expectations we have of the games biggest enemy it understandable he has to new find ways of further diminishing his own credibility.

This.



#33 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:15 PM

Absolutely.

For the zilionth time, there is nothing wrong with having journalists who question things and offer an alternative point of view. But constantly denigrating everything for the sake of it is not only extremely boring, it's also damaging to the game.


Do you honestly believe most journalists are negative "for the sake of it"?

If there is any shred of institutionalised negativity in the RL press it's perhaps fueled by the fact that few, if any, of those who report on the game holds a full time position in a national media organisation.

Of the few I can think of who do (Andy Wilson and George Riley spring to mind) they're generally very positive about the game when they feel it's merited, yet if either of them veers from being 'on message' they're slated by the zealots on here almost immediately.

You have to remember, these blokes are paid to report and comment on the game, not to promote it.

#34 Johnoco

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:31 PM

Do you honestly believe most journalists are negative "for the sake of it"?

If there is any shred of institutionalised negativity in the RL press it's perhaps fueled by the fact that few, if any, of those who report on the game holds a full time position in a national media organisation.

Of the few I can think of who do (Andy Wilson and George Riley spring to mind) they're generally very positive about the game when they feel it's merited, yet if either of them veers from being 'on message' they're slated by the zealots on here almost immediately.

You have to remember, these blokes are paid to report and comment on the game, not to promote it.

I follow these guys on twitter and whilst they can say some good things, well some of them anyway, the general tone is one of  game that is totally on its uppers. You wouldn't know for instance that we have much better crowds than 20 years ago. 

 

I'll give you an example. I was 'talking' to one on twitter last year before a game between Widnes-Catalans. The guy was pretty much saying it was pointless and that Catalans would run away with it. As it turned out, it was quite a close game but you wouldn't have bothered with it unless you were pretty much a diehard. Yet I see them talking up darts etc 'it's a full house here tonight, electric atmosphere' (usually about 6-7K.....wow, big deal). 

 

Even so, if they are just being sincere about their views, there is clearly a lot wrong with RL in their eyes. So maybe it's time to cover another sport or get another job? 


No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#35 Pottsy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:35 PM

Even so, if they are just being sincere about their views, there is clearly a lot wrong with RL in their eyes. So maybe it's time to cover another sport or get another job?


So again, following your 'logic' on this, if a political journalist finds little in the current climate to be positive about, they too should "get another job?"

#36 Johnoco

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:44 PM

So again, following your 'logic' on this, if a political journalist finds little in the current climate to be positive about, they too should "get another job?"

If it was a Labour MP waxing lyrical about the Tories or something, then yes. If they concentrated on commenting on the action on the pitch it wouldn't be even that bad but the crowd is more likely to get a mention than a brilliant piece of play. I never hear Andy Wilson mention attendances in his cricket tweets. (not that AW is that bad actually) 

 

And it isn't even in the last year or two anyway, they were moaning and groaning about everything way before then. 


No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#37 Doghead

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:48 PM

It would've been preferable in my opinion. It's quite clear that Mr Wood is the 'architect' of these plans and is pretty determined to push them through. Who knows, history may even present him as a genius.

However, where he's erred is in trying to seek public approval for something that was always likely to be contentious. And, in doing so, he's allowed the news agenda to be diverted from the World Cup at such a critical time.

It has deflected news from the World Cup, but the game has 18 months before clubs are relegated, it needs sorting. Red Hall could have kept a lid on talks that have taken place, think of the outcry if that had happened, Martyn Sadler would have had Kittens. Think of the damage done to our game with rumour and innuendo, enough damage was done when rumours first surfaced of the changes, not until we had a statement from Red Hall was some sort of calm restored,  sadly some people have kept to their opinions even though they where based on rumour at the time..


Edited by Doghead, 25 July 2013 - 01:53 PM.


#38 gingerjon

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 02:35 PM

Do you honestly believe most journalists are negative "for the sake of it"?

 

When it comes to rugby league they seem to wear it as a badge of honour.


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#39 JohnM

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 02:48 PM

It has deflected news from the World Cup, but the game has 18 months before clubs are relegated, it needs sorting. Red Hall could have kept a lid on talks that have taken place, think of the outcry if that had happened, Martyn Sadler would have had Kittens. Think of the damage done to our game with rumour and innuendo, enough damage was done when rumours first surfaced of the changes, not until we had a statement from Red Hall was some sort of calm restored,  sadly some people have kept to their opinions even though they where based on rumour at the time..

 

Very much agree.

 

Is not about debate, discussion, opinion, journalism, challenging people and so on.  As I see it Martyn was creating an opportunity for the RFL to respond to the criticisms. 

 

What really pisses me off big time is the relentless  and conditioned-reflex denigration of the RFL and SuplerLeague, it people, its actions, its lack of action, its decisions , its lack of decisions, it refereeing decisions, its structural ideas, its openness, its transparency, its secretiveness, it unfairness, the perecived bias of the disciplinary committee..in fact everything, all the time.

 

  Aggregate the individual more and the picture becomes one of a game whose fans actually dislike the game they claim to support, despite the long term rise in views and spectators and despite its expansion,

 

Sure, not everything is right, in some cases far from it, but Jeez, its nowhere near as bad as as the naysayers like to make out.


Edited by JohnM, 25 July 2013 - 02:49 PM.


#40 Gav Wilson

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:03 PM

Sure, not everything is right, in some cases far from it, but Jeez, its nowhere near as bad as as the naysayers like to make out.

 

Absolutely.

 

I've said it for years, Its always either the best game in the word ever, or its dying and a farce and a joke.

 

Why can't there be a middle ground for once? Because thats where the game really is.

 

Having said that, don't take me seriously, I'm just an RFL sock puppet...


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