The Media and Social Responsibility

Mattie2016

Senior List
Dec 10, 2018
229
210
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
We were once a society who celebrated achievements, backed the underdog and inspired generations to hope and believe, through our support and positivity.

Somewhere, along the way, we have deviated catastrophically from the values that we once heralded as our 'Australian Identity' through the Anzac spirit; love, positivity, humour, integrity, having 'a go', mateship, support. These are not the values that we see promoted in the mass or social media realms here in Australia today. They are myths, and, sadly, we have devolved in the way interact, report and support.

I recently visited the archive section of the State Library to read old sports articles in order to get a flavour of how footy was viewed here in the post-war years. I was immediately struck by the wonderful tone of each story; journalists celebrated the beauty, romance and hope of our teams, sportsmen and women, willing the reader to back them to succeed and believe in them, with each exuberant word they wrote. I was transported into an era of joy and happiness, to a time that I associate with cricket commentators enthusiastically describing the times: "Here is Donald Bradman. A true favorite of the people of Melbourne as he stops to sign an autograph for this lucky boy. Look at the smiles on the children's faces as they savour the moment with their hero. This fan can hardly contain her excitement...". Sadly, this is a passed era, replaced by cynicism, pursuit of scandal, conflict, reaction and headlines.

But who is to blame? The out-of-shape man sitting in partial darkness as he angrily taps at his keyboard in response to a perceived failing from an actual athlete or professional? Is it the so-called expert panelist or journalist who seeks to out-do a colleague with outlandish statements, speculation or click-baiting headlines that divide, diminish and destroy? We live in a society that craves the next best thing, instant gratification and hyperbole. So, journalists can only remain relevant if they reach for the superlative, cut down the tall poppies, demand coach sackings and find stories, even when there aren't any.

But, for what purpose? Journalists and wannabe social influencers alike, may get a personal boost from their short-lived notoriety or likes they receive, or for the conversation or outrage generated. But the toll on our game, our heroes and our attitudes is a toxic national shame. The damage done to a young star such as Tom Boyd, who was routinely built up, ripped down and scrutinised on every element of his professional and personal value, is an example which evokes both rage and sadness in me. Despite his talents and achievements, the need to target a vulnerable person, known to be struggling, by experienced media figures, some of whom have played elite sport and surely know and understand the sacrifices and bloodshed players experience, beggars belief. To then log onto any footy forum or discussion page on the internet, only to see the same vitriol as modelled by the mass media, this time coming from the loud and largely-illiterate armchair lizards. These are real members of the public, who may be your uncle, the woman who sits in the next bay from you at the footy, your work colleague or the teenager that just served you at Coles. Somehow, they believe they have been given the permission and freedom to say whatever they wish, regardless of the impact and consequences.


So, I challenge our media identities to be brave enough to start a revolution; to change their style so then the reaction from the public towards them will also change. Take Bob Murphy's journalistic stortytelling style as an example. He projects love and receives it back. This is a simple, yet effective template.

This devolution of reporting and supporting needs to be addressed, as a matter of urgency, starting with the acceptance of responsibility of all to act with the decency, respect and attitude of yesteryear.
 
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Mattie2016

Senior List
Dec 10, 2018
229
210
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Damien Barrett says all journos are held to account everyday !!
They are certainly scrutinised, and it a vicious cycle that I believe the industry has created for itself. If our media identities are brave enough to change their style, then the reaction from the public towards them will also change.

TakeBob Murphy's journalistic stortytelling style as an example. He projects love and receives it back. A simple and effective template.
 

Happy Mastenator

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 16, 2010
14,103
15,253
Sydney
AFL Club
West Coast
We were once a society who celebrated achievements, backed the underdog and inspired generations to hope and believe, through our support and positivity.

Somewhere, along the way, we have deviated catastrophically from the values that we once heralded as our 'Australian Identity' through the Anzac spirit; love, positivity, humour, integrity, having 'a go', mateship, support. These are not the values that we see promoted in the mass or social media realms here in Australia today. They are myths, and, sadly, we have devolved in the way interact, report and support.

I recently visited the archive section of the State Library to read old sports articles in order to get a flavour of how footy was viewed here in the post-war years. I was immediately struck by the wonderful tone of each story; journalists celebrated the beauty, romance and hope of our teams, sportsmen and women, willing the reader to back them to succeed and believe in them, with each exuberant word they wrote. I was transported into an era of joy and happiness, to a time that I associate with cricket commentators enthusiastically describing the times: "Here is Donald Bradman. A true favorite of the people of Melbourne as he stops to sign an autograph for this lucky boy. Look at the smiles on the children's faces as they savour the moment with their hero. This fan can hardly contain her excitement...". Sadly, this is a passed era, replaced by cynicism, pursuit of scandal, conflict, reaction and headlines.

But who is to blame? The out-of-shape man sitting in partial darkness as he angrily taps at his keyboard in response to a perceived failing from an actual athlete or professional? Is it the so-called expert panelist or journalist who seeks to out-do a colleague with outlandish statements, speculation or click-baiting headlines that divide, diminish and destroy? We live in a society that craves the next best thing, instant gratification and hyperbole. So, journalists can only remain relevant if they reach for the superlative, cut down the tall poppies, demand coach sackings and find stories, even when there aren't any.

But, for what purpose? Journalists and wannabe social influencers alike, may get a personal boost from their short-lived notoriety or likes they receive, or for the conversation or outrage generated. But the toll on our game, our heroes and our attitudes is a toxic national shame. The damage done to a young star such as Tom Boyd, who was routinely built up, ripped down and scrutinised on every element of his professional and personal value, is an example which evokes both rage and sadness in me. Despite his talents and achievements, the need to target a vulnerable person, known to be struggling, by experienced media figures, some of whom have played elite sport and surely know and understand the sacrifices and bloodshed players experience, beggars belief. To then log onto any footy forum or discussion page on the internet, only to see the same vitriol as modelled by the mass media, this time coming from the loud and largely-illiterate armchair lizards. These are real members of the public, who may be your uncle, the woman who sits in the next bay from you at the footy, your work colleague or the teenager that just served you at Coles. Somehow, they believe they have been given the permission and freedom to say whatever they wish, regardless of the impact and consequences.


So, I challenge our media identities to be brave enough to start a revolution; to change their style so then the reaction from the public towards them will also change. Take Bob Murphy's journalistic stortytelling style as an example. He projects love and receives it back. This is a simple, yet effective template.

This devolution of reporting and supporting needs to be addressed, as a matter of urgency, starting with the acceptance of responsibility of all to act with the decency, respect and attitude of yesteryear.
By all reports after the fact it came out that Bradman was a massive a-hole and a generally not a nice person.

But sure if you prefer myth making rather than truths. Go for it.
 

Milanista28

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 2, 2014
11,352
17,472
AFL Club
Essendon
Do you even need to go to school to become a "journalist" anymore? You can fake it till you make it quite easily now it seems.
 

Mattie2016

Senior List
Dec 10, 2018
229
210
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Do you even need to go to school to become a "journalist" anymore? You can fake it till you make it quite easily now it seems.
By all reports after the fact it came out that Bradman was a massive a-hole and a generally not a nice person.

But sure if you prefer myth making rather than truths. Go for it.
Perfect example of the need to immediately diminish, ridicule or attack, without basis, evidence or consideration.
 
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