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Journo wars - the changing shape of RL journalism


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Hopefully this is considered an acceptable topic to discuss.

The nature of RL journalism in this country has changed recently, and the gloves seem to have come off in some parts.

Matt Shaw and Aaron Bower left League Express a while ago, Shaw joined the Reach franchise via their Rugby League Live portal (he's the editor) which publishes stories across a number of their regional outlets (Hull Daily Mail, the Examiner, Leeds Live etc) whilst Bower does stuff for the Guardian and also for the newish Thirteen Rugby.

Meanwhile, Australian John Davidson also reports on stories for various subscription-based outlets, including League Express and rugbyleaguehub.com.

Then there are a growing number of Twitter-based accounts who claim to provide news exclusives, such as the two anonymous but supposedly "in the know" accounts  @RugbyLeagueITK and @EnglishRL_itk.

I'm not going to comment too much on my views on each of these sources, other than that Shaw has seemed for some time to be the most reliable (which isn't to say he can't get it wrong some times of course like all journalists).

However, as Stevo used to say, it seems to be getting tasty out there, with rival journos/sources not holding back on each other. Earlier this week John Davidson wrote a piece for RLhub stating that Leeds Rhinos are in talks with ex-Featherstone coach Ryan Carr to become head coach next year, with Richard Agar set to switch to football director.

This report has been seized on and pretty much rubbished on by other journos, notably Matt Shaw https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/richard-agar-leeds-rhinos-future-21812696 and also the Yorkshire Evening Posts's Peter Smith https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/ryan-carr-are-leeds-rhinos-lining-up-the-former-featherstone-rovers-boss-to-take-over-as-coach-from-richard-agar-in-2022-3415088

Davidson has doubled down by tweeting the link to his story again this morning.

Then there has also been a Twitter spat between Shaw/Bower (who are friends)  and the EnglishRL_itk account on Twitter, see this thread
https://twitter.com/EnglishRL_itk/status/1446528727773483008

Then of course there are those sites that don't produce much content of note themselves but pounce on stories broken by others, rejig them and stick them on every Facebook RL group they can find with a clickbait headline. No names needed here I suspect...

 

I don't know what I make of it all to be honest but it's entertaining, a rapidly-changing news world, and from a RL fan's point of view it's interesting to have so many sources fighting to be the first to break news. I can imagine CEOs of clubs hate it though.

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1 hour ago, RigbyLuger said:

No journalist should even acknowledge the existence of these ITK accounts, and more fool supporters who believe them.

Totally. Follow the real journalists and their little battles for exclusives, but nobody should be following, least of all taking anything from, those accounts.

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1 hour ago, M j M said:

Totally. Follow the real journalists and their little battles for exclusives, but nobody should be following, least of all taking anything from, those accounts.

Some people are desperate for gossip and stories to believe, hence why some "journalists" don't deserve any of the credibility given to them. 

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I don't know about 'journo wars' but I definitely think John Davidson - who seems to have good contacts - poking his nose where others don't (the Toronto soap opera leaps to mind) and in particular Shaw moving to Reach to launch Rugby League Live have moved the needle.

On the other hand, the quality of League Express seems to have dipped as their number of scoops drop (or that is my impression).

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8 hours ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Hopefully this is considered an acceptable topic to discuss.

The nature of RL journalism in this country has changed recently, and the gloves seem to have come off in some parts.

Matt Shaw and Aaron Bower left League Express a while ago, Shaw joined the Reach franchise via their Rugby League Live portal (he's the editor) which publishes stories across a number of their regional outlets (Hull Daily Mail, the Examiner, Leeds Live etc) whilst Bower does stuff for the Guardian and also for the newish Thirteen Rugby.

Meanwhile, Australian John Davidson also reports on stories for various subscription-based outlets, including League Express and rugbyleaguehub.com.

Then there are a growing number of Twitter-based accounts who claim to provide news exclusives, such as the two anonymous but supposedly "in the know" accounts  @RugbyLeagueITK and @EnglishRL_itk.

I'm not going to comment too much on my views on each of these sources, other than that Shaw has seemed for some time to be the most reliable (which isn't to say he can't get it wrong some times of course like all journalists).

However, as Stevo used to say, it seems to be getting tasty out there, with rival journos/sources not holding back on each other. Earlier this week John Davidson wrote a piece for RLhub stating that Leeds Rhinos are in talks with ex-Featherstone coach Ryan Carr to become head coach next year, with Richard Agar set to switch to football director.

This report has been seized on and pretty much rubbished on by other journos, notably Matt Shaw https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/richard-agar-leeds-rhinos-future-21812696 and also the Yorkshire Evening Posts's Peter Smith https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/ryan-carr-are-leeds-rhinos-lining-up-the-former-featherstone-rovers-boss-to-take-over-as-coach-from-richard-agar-in-2022-3415088

Davidson has doubled down by tweeting the link to his story again this morning.

Then there has also been a Twitter spat between Shaw/Bower (who are friends)  and the EnglishRL_itk account on Twitter, see this thread
https://twitter.com/EnglishRL_itk/status/1446528727773483008

Then of course there are those sites that don't produce much content of note themselves but pounce on stories broken by others, rejig them and stick them on every Facebook RL group they can find with a clickbait headline. No names needed here I suspect...

 

I don't know what I make of it all to be honest but it's entertaining, a rapidly-changing news world, and from a RL fan's point of view it's interesting to have so many sources fighting to be the first to break news. I can imagine CEOs of clubs hate it though.

Im personally appauled by the standard of rugby league journalists at this time. 

Cheap, lazy, untalented hacks scraping around in the dirt and debris to deliver garbage and rhetoric with very little substance. 

Only last week love rugby league highlighted ben flowers remarkable rugby league career by referring just to the lance hohaia incident 7 long years ago. With such negative summarys it suprises me that many of these so called journos actually like our sport at all. 

Maybe they are just under achievers 

 

Edited by The storm
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1 hour ago, The storm said:

Im personally appauled by the standard of rugby league journalists at this time. 

Cheap, lazy, untalented hacks scraping around in the dirt and debris to deliver garbage and rhetoric with very little substance. 

Only last week love rugby league highlighted ben flowers remarkable rugby league career by referring just to the lance hohaia incident 7 long years ago. With such negative summarys it suprises me that many of these so called journos actually like our sport at all. 

Maybe they are just under achievers 

 

On a similar note, I'm not sure why the Yorkshire Post felt a profile on Ben Cockayne was needed last week.

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I think it is too easy to be critical of modern day RL  journalists, as clearly they are working within a newish world that emcompasses not just print, but the internet and social media. An awful lot generated by supporters, distractors, agents,  players and, officials themselves.

Also as any sports journalist will know their breadth of contacts are limited. Even more so in the small world of RL. It would be very easy for a reporter to be isolated by certain vested interests.

I think often RL almost becomes un newsworthy. I look at Jackson Hastings at Salford, then Wigan. When he was with us, it seemed he was never out of the media, but vanished when he was pounced to Pieland. 

Nevertheless I personally wish that modern RL did two almost contrary things.

First I despair at a lot of the game's negativity and wish that those more outstanding aspects of the sport was highlighted.

However on the other hand, I wish the contemporary RL press/media concerned themselves with the real structural inequalities and weaknesses and how the system's rigged character is leading RL towards a lack of competitiveness and profitability. 

 

Edited by idrewthehaggis
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