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RL Journalism, a weak link?

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I just listened to the latest Rugby Reloaded podcast by Tony Collins.  They spent some time criticizing the general quality of RL journalism in the UK, implying that they are too close to major stakeholders and that they are little more than glorified fan boys. It related this to the lack of transparency in major decisions in the sport. I haven't seen confrontational interviews with important constituents of the game and, in fact, many interviews seem to be more of a promotional sounding board for those who are being interviewed. Does this cozy relationship actually hinder the sport, by shying away from exposing difficult issues?

Aussie sports journalist seem to unload blistering attacks on folks in NRL when required.

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I think the charge could be levelled at some. I imagine Sean McGuire had Dave Woods in mind when he said some RL journalists are like “fans with a microphone”. As the BBC correspondent, and therefore the most powerful RL journalist in Britain, he’s certainly not used his position to tell truth to power etc.

Then you have some of the trade press journalists like Matt Shaw of League Express, who probably has to lick a bit of ringpiece to get his transfer deal exclusives. He isn’t one to rock the boat either.

But by no means all RL journalists are like that. John Davidson, Steve Mascord and Danny Lockwood at League Weekly aren’t afraid to dig some dirt or voice criticism. Forty-20 is consistently a dissenting voice and recently ran a very long piece about the Bradford Bulls catastrophe, critical of the RFL etc.

The national newspapers have some very good journalists like Gary Carter, Julie Stott and Gareth Walker, but they have to fight tooth and nail against football, cricket etc to get stories in their papers so ‘political’ stories will always struggle to make it. The ‘Rectum of Wigan’ story did recently make some front pages, however.

What I would say is the RL journalists who have ‘guaranteed’ space in national media, such as the BBC RL section or Guardian RL blogs, should compare their style of coverage with their NRL counterparts...

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5 hours ago, ojx said:

I just listened to the latest Rugby Reloaded podcast by Tony Collins.  They spent some time criticizing the general quality of RL journalism in the UK, implying that they are too close to major stakeholders and that they are little more than glorified fan boys. It related this to the lack of transparency in major decisions in the sport. I haven't seen confrontational interviews with important constituents of the game and, in fact, many interviews seem to be more of a promotional sounding board for those who are being interviewed. Does this cozy relationship actually hinder the sport, by shying away from exposing difficult issues?

Aussie sports journalist seem to unload blistering attacks on folks in NRL when required.

Link?

 

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6 hours ago, ojx said:

I just listened to the latest Rugby Reloaded podcast by Tony Collins.  They spent some time criticizing the general quality of RL journalism in the UK, implying that they are too close to major stakeholders and that they are little more than glorified fan boys. It related this to the lack of transparency in major decisions in the sport. I haven't seen confrontational interviews with important constituents of the game and, in fact, many interviews seem to be more of a promotional sounding board for those who are being interviewed. Does this cozy relationship actually hinder the sport, by shying away from exposing difficult issues?

Aussie sports journalist seem to unload blistering attacks on folks in NRL when required.

Tony Collins is very knowledgeable on the games history and is a good guy.  If he has been doing the criticizing then it will be based on first hand evidence.

 

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Didn't we complain when journalists wrote negative articles and, when questioned, say it wasn't their job to be cheerleaders?

But it seems they are also, simultaneously, "glorified fan boys".

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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24 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Didn't we complain when journalists wrote negative articles and, when questioned, say it wasn't their job to be cheerleaders?

But it seems they are also, simultaneously, "glorified fan boys".

Indeed, the last thing RL needs is an overly critical media (in the style of 90s tabloids), out to destroy people. I’d like to see more positive stories in the national press, and less of the ‘its a working class northern sport’ type ones that Tony Collins himself writes. 

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I think this thread should be joined by another started about the same podcast.

It seems very wrong that one journalist who writes about the sport should go onto his Twitter account and demonstrate his hostility to the Prime Minister,and others,and in particular to Dominic Cummings,shortly after this government loaned the sport some money.

But that may just be me.

We have a statement from the Super League broadcast deal searcher stating it was a unanimous vote to retain the salary cap as it stands, and this was after there was a report of a split between the clubs with half a dozen on each side of the argument.

Then there was a report that the vote was not unanimous.This after one Super League owner complained of a leak of information.

I would expect this to be followed up.

It is certainly true that soccer journalists do delve deeper into everything they are told and soccer club followers,especially those with supporters Trusts - go through club finances and backgrounds of people running their clubs with a forensic microscope.

 Some people take the view that as 'customers' as followers of sports clubs we are not entitled to know what goes on - just as customers who shop at Tesco aren't entitled to know what goes on with that management.

  A lack of transparency...and a lack of accountability..is not a good look.

  Instead of keeping their viewpoints to a short,but very good,podcast,it would be nice if Messrs. McGuire and Collins got round to putting their points to those in positions of authority.

   They could always invite those people onto their show. 


     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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12 minutes ago, Angelic Cynic said:

It seems very wrong that one journalist who writes about the sport should go onto his Twitter account and demonstrate his hostility to the Prime Minister,and others,and in particular to Dominic Cummings,shortly after this government loaned the sport some money.

But that may just be me.

With repect, I totally disagree.

As the podcast points out the loan is literally nothing to the govt. Too small to count it. Yet we're supposed (or at least an unnamed journalist) to then not criticise the govt on any level?

That's bizarre

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If you’re one of the (likely) very small group of recognised rugby league journalists withIn this country, are you going to go and put forward provocative, antagonistic questions to a coach, player or chairman of a club and potentially damage the reputation you have and your employer has with that club?

Imagine “Journalist A” asked Simon Moran a load of antagonistic questions a few months ago and then when it comes to a press conference around the Greg Inglis signing, isn’t allowed to attend as the Warrington club don’t want him there. Your employer isn’t going to be best pleased at missing quotes like that, I imagine. 

As much as we, as fans, want journalists to pepper Robert Elstone, for example, with questions it’s not always the best way or even possible to do so.

The journalists we have that are employed by big newspapers and the like are probably quite good, however, they don’t get the licence to write extensive, in depth articles to go into print in comparison to say, someone who works for Rugby League World or Forty20, where that is actively encouraged. 

 

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6 hours ago, marklaspalmas said:

With repect, I totally disagree.

As the podcast points out the loan is literally nothing to the govt. Too small to count it. Yet we're supposed (or at least an unnamed journalist) to then not criticise the govt on any level?

That's bizarre

  Nothing to a government paying out billions during this pandemic and facing a huge recession? Has any other government included giving rugby league any money,loan or otherwise,in similar circumstances? Is it only an unelected individual, who assists as an adviser, that can be identified as telling lies when no 'expert' on non-verbal communication has been thrown up to explain which bit of an interview, over an hour in length, was the 'lies' bit? If that journalist is so good at detecting a liar when he sees one,how has he got on with those connected with rugby league? Oh,mustn't upset anyone or they won't get the hospitality...

  Anyhow,here is the report mentioned in the podcast - click on the Read The research bit.

  https://www.ukonward.com/asportingchance/

  


     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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Do we need more Alex Ferguson types banning journos? 

If anything, the sport needs to be more picky about who they speak to. Seeing the VP of the RFL speaking to a show presented by one who was on camera saying very offensive things about those at the top of the sport doesn't add up.

Be critical, but not offensive.

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On 03/06/2020 at 13:58, unapologetic pedant said:

Tony Collins has a strong back catalogue, but he did write a piece before the last general election confidently predicting that, since the game was rooted in rebellion, RL fans in the "Red Wall" would never vote Tory. He failed to explain how it was rebellious to continue voting for middle-class liberal candidates, more interested in woke obsessions than working-class concerns. Whether or not it will be repeated, and whether or not you agree with it, voting against the metropolitan elite was an act of rebellion entirely consistent with the spirit of 1895.

The tone of a lot of mainstream RL journalists is that of a general sports writer. On-field knowledge is superficial, off-field knowledge largely M-62 corridor limited. The BBC`s coverage is still bedevilled by the assumption that RL is a simple game for a few simple folk in the North of England. To counter this their RL correspondent would need to be a genuine expert, incisive and fully across all the details. Some hopes.

Dave Woods gets away with an, to put it at its best, unforensic approach merely because he was the first BBC commentator to sound like those afforded to other sports. In the same way, Barrack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for being not George W Bush.

I agree entirely. It shows that he was out of touch with the working class fans which is important. 

I think Martyn understands the RL fans psych better than anyone. He also keeps in touch with us on here which gives us accessibility. 

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We have a broader range of RL journalism in Australia because it’s a large mainstream sport. 

On 03/06/2020 at 12:27, ojx said:

Aussie sports journalist seem to unload blistering attacks on folks in NRL when required.

 

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On 03/06/2020 at 03:27, ojx said:

I just listened to the latest Rugby Reloaded podcast by Tony Collins.  They spent some time criticizing the general quality of RL journalism in the UK, implying that they are too close to major stakeholders and that they are little more than glorified fan boys. It related this to the lack of transparency in major decisions in the sport. I haven't seen confrontational interviews with important constituents of the game and, in fact, many interviews seem to be more of a promotional sounding board for those who are being interviewed. Does this cozy relationship actually hinder the sport, by shying away from exposing difficult issues?

Aussie sports journalist seem to unload blistering attacks on folks in NRL when required.

The RFL are in no position to have blistering attacks from friendly journalists who are playing their part in bulling up a minority sport in the UK


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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On 03/06/2020 at 19:11, RigbyLuger said:

Do we need more Alex Ferguson types banning journos? 

If anything, the sport needs to be more picky about who they speak to. Seeing the VP of the RFL speaking to a show presented by one who was on camera saying very offensive things about those at the top of the sport doesn't add up.

Be critical, but not offensive.

No good not speaking to someone who'll listen because who else do we pick who'll listen, many of the main stream newspaper have sacked their rugby league reporter or sent them to report on Joe Soaps allotment.


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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I am reading a book by a Nottingham football reporter.

He explains that for Provincial towns there is a balancing act between access and criticism. 

Edited by Niels

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4 posts removed, this isn't the politics forum. And some of you should know better by now.


"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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5 hours ago, Niels said:

I agree entirely. It shows that he was out of touch with the working class fans which is important. 

I think Martyn understands the RL fans psych better than anyone. He also keeps in touch with us on here which gives us accessibility. 

This is a good point about Mr Sadler. Do we know if other RL journalists pay any attention to a forum like this? Or indeed decision-makers at the RFL and the clubs?  We hear very little publicly from most of these, and what we do receive is generally banal, bearing little relation to what committed fans are debating. They can be very fulsome though with their sentimental gush about how important our support is.

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On 03/06/2020 at 12:27, ojx said:

I just listened to the latest Rugby Reloaded podcast by Tony Collins.  They spent some time criticizing the general quality of RL journalism in the UK, implying that they are too close to major stakeholders and that they are little more than glorified fan boys. It related this to the lack of transparency in major decisions in the sport. I haven't seen confrontational interviews with important constituents of the game and, in fact, many interviews seem to be more of a promotional sounding board for those who are being interviewed. Does this cozy relationship actually hinder the sport, by shying away from exposing difficult issues?

Aussie sports journalist seem to unload blistering attacks on folks in NRL when required.

That has changed now in Australia with V'landys in charge, News Corp journalists are calling for statues of him.

No coincidence News Corp have got everything they wanted from the broadcast deals, as did Nine.

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On 03/06/2020 at 17:31, Man of Kent said:

I think the charge could be levelled at some. I imagine Sean McGuire had Dave Woods in mind when he said some RL journalists are like “fans with a microphone”. As the BBC correspondent, and therefore the most powerful RL journalist in Britain, he’s certainly not used his position to tell truth to power etc.

Then you have some of the trade press journalists like Matt Shaw of League Express, who probably has to lick a bit of ringpiece to get his transfer deal exclusives. He isn’t one to rock the boat either.

But by no means all RL journalists are like that. John Davidson, Steve Mascord and Danny Lockwood at League Weekly aren’t afraid to dig some dirt or voice criticism. Forty-20 is consistently a dissenting voice and recently ran a very long piece about the Bradford Bulls catastrophe, critical of the RFL etc.

The national newspapers have some very good journalists like Gary Carter, Julie Stott and Gareth Walker, but they have to fight tooth and nail against football, cricket etc to get stories in their papers so ‘political’ stories will always struggle to make it. The ‘Rectum of Wigan’ story did recently make some front pages, however.

What I would say is the RL journalists who have ‘guaranteed’ space in national media, such as the BBC RL section or Guardian RL blogs, should compare their style of coverage with their NRL counterparts...

Besides the three you mentioned, are there other national newspaper rugby league journalists? 

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4 hours ago, rlno1 said:

Besides the three you mentioned, are there other national newspaper rugby league journalists? 

Aaron Bower for the Guardian & Observer.

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21 hours ago, marklaspalmas said:

This thread makes so little sense now, if it ever did.

Tony Collins is essentially a writer on the politics of Rugby League. If political references are forbidden, this thread is hardly likely to make much sense. Unless we regard RL journalism as no more than rumours of signings and updates on injuries.

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