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Media’s football spin is desperation

The RBB: Passion is not a crime.

 

Victoria Police openly clapped for and complimented Western Sydney Wanderers’ active support, the Red and Black Bloc, following Saturday’s match. Officers coordinating RBB’s march spoke highly of the fans. Where are those reports?

 

Football is under attack by the uneducated who feign credibility by referring to either their jobs or longevity in a foreign industry (yes, I’m talking about those AFL reporters). It has been reiterated a plethora of times, but the message requires more attention.  Put simply, at least 90 per cent of all reporting on Australian football and the A-League competition is innacurate, incomplete, or fuelled by propaganda. No detailed report by a research company is required to realise this.

 

Furthermore, it is subject to racial stereotyping (for example, Herald Sun’s Baz Blakeney’s racial outburst on February 17 for which he should be sacked), blatant disregard for humanity (such as 3AW’s Tom Elliott’s mockery of the deaths of 96 fans at what is known as the Hillsborough disaster), intentional targeting, and an array of other media techniques designed to attract views or clicks regardless of the damage caused by misinformation.

 

This means anything from selecting certain video clips over others (like the display of some broken chairs but no showcasing of passionate supporters singing in unity and celebration), or choosing to create incomplete articles that ignore positivities (as we saw following the most recent Melbourne Derby where there was greater focus on Melbourne Victory’s banner than the amazing efforts by both MV and Melbourne Heart fans).  This is definitely not exclusive to football, although the code has gained far too much attention during the AFL and NRL off-seasons for things that are far too insigificant to mention, let alone propagate repeatedly.

 

Why does this occur? The headline sums it up.

 

The media gets its money from public attention. These journalistst are desperate for it, and therefore will create any spin necessary in order to grab views. It is desperation at best. Common decency, reality, and honesty does not exist with many news oulets.  Let’s be honest: the media spends more time looking for ways to promote fans unfairly than it does reporting the actual games being played. There was an article with ‘flare’ in the headline before the Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers spectacle had even concluded.

 

Basically, football fans are demanding to be represented properly. This will not be achieved by standing by. I encourage supporters to not only use social media and public advocacy to voice their opinions, but blatantly call out those who are looking to damage football.  More importantly, perhaps, do not give any publications, may they be magazines, web sites, newspapers, or television news outlets, the luxury of your attention. Each click and view attracts the advertiser dollar. If no one is looking at the content, it will not be created.

 

Finally, continue to make the terraces, stadiums, and surrounding suburbs echo with your chants. Never be subdued by the thoughts of uneducated journalists. They have zero relation to the code, nor will their thoughts make any sort of impact on the sport. Those folks at Sunrise can recycle clips of flares as much as they want, but the reality is that the stories are as redundant as their roles.

 

My personal message to all Australians, both fans and those who do not follow the sport, is beware. Do not insult your own integrity and decency by subjecting your mind to the propaganda coordinated by both commercial and independent sources.  No one is asking you to fall in love with it. Just like I do not enjoy golf, for example, many will not enjoy football. At the end of the day, though, the important factor is respect; perhaps this is best summed up in the Australian ‘fair go’ ideology, which seems to be dissipating, if it has not already vanished.

 

Football is not a perfect code, but perfection cannot and will never be found in any sport. The anger shared by A-League fans is not at the competition receiving coverage, but rather the bias used by the media.

Follow Nermin on twitter @nermin_ole

  • cptFantasy

    Bravo! One of the best articles on this topic I’ve seen!

  • Great article. Good to read something that finally tells it like it is.

  • Dean

    100% Nermin!!!!!!!

  • Tosin

    Why are the other codes scared???
    We play at different times of the year.
    In winter i watch afl and in summer the A-League.
    Whats the problem??

    • Modric

      Cricket is played during summer, and the Big Bash attendances are down, whilst the A-League attendances are up. The cricket administrators are scared, and they have every reason to be.

      • scott

        Big Bash attendances are down? Where are those figures from?

        And what exactly are they down from – the league has just completed its second season? Difficult to say whether there’s a trend. And any poor attendances are probably the result of poor fixturing/administration and basically teething problems while they find the best format.

        Back to the topic at hand, the writer of this article more or less claims that soccer is the victim of sensationalist reporting in the media that survives by publishing wild and unsubstantiated/false claims in order to generate attention and backlash.

        If you’re going to claim the media is incorrect in their reporting, then I’d suggest avoiding phrases such as ‘Football is under attack…”, “at least 90 per cent of all reporting on…(the)A-League competition is innacurate, incomplete, or fuelled by propaganda”.

  • Mark

    Great article. Spot on with telling it like it is. I have friends who have been scared to go to A League games because of blatant media bias. I would love to see what ould happen if someone actually published some statistics re violence in crowds at football codes which showed the AFL as the worst (Which i reckon it would be with regards to fights between spectators on the terraces).

    • Jake

      “Which I reckon it would be…”

      Hmm, the same uneducated speculation without any facts the article writer is talking about?

      If football didn’t gain itself this reputation in the first place, there wouldn’t be this trouble. I know it isn’t fair to have the actions of past generations hanging over the heads of the new generation but even then, members of the new generation are known to do the same thing. I hear so many fans complain about this and then claim the sport has ‘the most passionate fans in the world’. I actually agree completely… but does anyone else think this is a problem? When we’re talking about a GAME, with absolutely zero bearing on the events of your own life, whose results really don’t matter at all to anyone who isn’t part of the board and seeing precious dollars fly into their pockets? To get so enraged by a fellow supporter or by the result of a game that you actually result to physical violence, be it in A-League or AFL or freaking lawn bowls is absolutely outrageous. It tells me you need to desperately step back and assess your priorities. And this football violence is happening on a local level too.

      You know what you can do? Report these morons to police (the same police, might I add, who get called pigs if they uphold the law but suddenly have valid opinions and are okay when they’re praising football fans as in the example in the article). Do your part in banishing these people from the game you love so much. Yes, the media sensationalises things. They do it in politics, they do it in others sports… media has become a business and not a means of finding information which is a shame. But if people clean up their acts, they have nothing to report. And even then, if they’re bagging your game, throw it aside and let the game speak for itself.

      • Nermin Bajric

        I partially agree with some of what you’re saying, Jake. I do think that there is a LOT of generalisation in your statements which are based upon Australian perceptions of football which are only a subject of the Australian context. Besides, ‘problem’ is a subjective term, and thus what this country, may it be anyone from the government, to the FFA and the media, considers are problematic is its own perception. It may or may not be shared with others, but it is not the bottom line. That’s all I’ll say as it this could lead to an entire essay. My main response to you is to avoid such generalisations mate.

  • johnpaul

    Great artical nermin, very well written, just a point do any of the members of
    the ffa board know what it feels like to be on a proffesional
    player having your fans chanting and singing for you the whole
    ninty min, you grow another heart chase every ball down
    and don’t give up no matter what.

  • Diego

    Well written mate. Football will slowly grab traction in this country. We just need to deal with the unfortunate reality that its probably not in the Top 5 Australian sports.
    It might help if the players start urinating in public, defecating in Hotel corridors, taking illegal substances or part-taking in sexual orgies with underage women and then glorified on TV, then and only then, we may get accepted.

  • Sam

    Excellent article, the only report I have read that shows clear understanding of the horrible reporting that has been going on by “Professional Journalists”. These codes (NRL & AFL) are running scared for some pretty simple reasons = the increase in grassroots football being played (most played game in Australia), the increase in viewing both on Television AND support at games in major cities are all reasons why these media outlets continue to target Football in Australia… The thing that has shocked me is the Victorian Government’s and VICPOL’s comments regarding some of these matters as some (not all) comments leads me to believe they have been poisoned by the media. It’s about time people realised the that these media outlets i.e News Limited etc all have invested interests in NRL and AFL and it saddens me that these desperate individuals and outlets are attempting to tarnish an entire game for their benefit… Notice the word attempting? For this will only sway us momentarily, let’s get back on topic… match fixing, doping, illicit drug use in the AFL and NRL? 😉

  • barbara Reich

    it all comes down to the bottom line, those journos (if you wish to call them that) are paid to write articles that sell papers and writing negative articles about football sells papers regardless if there is some truth or not. the more papers they sell the more secure their jobs are but…..
    we the fans of round ball football have had enough we reserve the right to enjoy our World Game be that by singing and chanting and putting banners up, that is part and parcel of the game which gets the fans involved and excited about the game. which in turn gets the players revved up and it creates atmosphere and makes for a great time out.
    yes their will also will be a small % (i’ll hazard a guess and say less than 4%) of fans who will misbehave but that happens all over the world in all sports. to subject the fans of football to these outright lies only makes us more hungry to fight for our rights to have our game reported correctly and without bias. unfortunately the editor and owners of said media outlets relay on sensationalism to sell their products.
    i and my family for one have not paid any attention to mainstream medias (7, 9 and 10 etc) reporting of football for over 18 months because of their bias. the other thing that really gets me going is in the other codes “off season” they will report on anything and everything related to that and that includes outside of the sports news and then is repeated in the sports news and goes into so much detail to fill their time slot its a joke. we for one would love to see in depth reporting of results and that means each game every weekend not just the local home game. we deserve the same respect given as they do to the other codes and see all the results and not just the focus on the negativity.
    by the way your article was brilliant
    Passion Is Not A Crime
    unless…….
    you support the round ball footbal

    • scott

      This victim mentality is what a lot of people find jarring.

      If you want to complain about negative press attention through sensationalist journalism, get in line behind politics, the Catholic Church, and about 3 other sports. Take a step back for a moment; do you REALLY think journalists choose to sensationalise soccer only?

      The truth is, yes, people probably don’t really understand soccer, but complaining like petulant children doesn’t help. And hearing things like “we’re not going to dob our mates who stuff up at the game” doesn’t help the cause.

      And again, things like 150+ chairs being ripped out and thrown onto the ground is ALWAYS going to get written up in the paper – why try and justify it? That was possibly the best opportunity to publicly and collectively denounce that kind of immaturity and thuggery, and the game does NOT accept it. But all I really heard through FB posts and online forums was this whole ‘the journos are out to get us’ mantra.

      Basically, just grow up and enjoy your sport, whatever you choose to follow.

  • Martin Le

    To be totally honest, AFL is shit. Football is the only way forward in Australia. Afl is plagued by drug and violence scandals whereas Football nothing but exagerated and innacurate “hooliganism”. But what can you expect from something that is driven soo much by passion and love, a religion for some.

  • Bill

    well written and spot on. what I love is you dont need to lower yourself by using abusive insulting words to get your point across unlike many articles written about football and its fans. just an honest piece on the problems with ‘reporting to attract interest’ rather than the truth

  • Daniel Toledo

    Beautiful article outlining how bad the media is at hiding the fact that they do not like football and therefore take it out on the fans.

  • Kasey vP

    It is obvious that the vast majority of print reporting on football is written by professional trolls masquerading as Opinion Columnists…They are Trollumnists, whose single-minded aim is to denigrate football(+ its fans) to provoke those passionate fans into responding. This type of level-headed exposure blog-piece, is what we need to keep up. If we feed the trolls with page hits and letters(online and email), then they ‘win’ and will keep doing it.

    PS: How is the Herald Sun’s Baz Blakeney still employed after such a blatantly racist hate-article? Let alone the managing editor who thought it fit to publish/print?

  • Daemo.

    Great article. People should realize by now that private media is a joke in all aspects, and your better off getting news from womans weekly. Year 10 English taught us that or if you didnt pay attention even ‘The Chasers’ showed us how much of a joke the news is.

    Its a business and they will always put what ever draws the most reactions and interest over journalistic integrity. If they were to put real news on it would be boring as shit i.e ABC lol.

    Agree with Kasey – Trolls gonna troll! need to ignore that shit.

  • Shady Farah

    First I must congrats on the article written, we so need more people to talk the truth about how media try it’s best to rubbish a sport that not only has its power of being the number one played sport worldwide but the fact that the code in Australia has given the nation a place on a map as football is like religion and with the aleague and it’s success in a short time I’m 100% positive if the aleague was to be mention overseas I’m sure the questions that were asked had its answers but if you mentioned afl and nrl I’m again 100 % sure the questions asked will this time have no answers. … Media in this country can try there best to kill the sport, but reality is If it wasn’t for the fans, no sport will survive but ones for sure ill take watching the passion of football fans watching there beloved teams play any day over other codes, life’s about being lively, and us football fans live life to the full… If you think sitting there watching your team play in silence is healthy for the sport, then the media need to try there best to kill our game, but all I can say is we live in 2013, we don’t need the media, we have our own eyes to judge ourselves. I’m smelling fear in other codes.

  • Peko

    The only words I can use to describe this article is WOW, what an awesome read

  • Timothy

    Its about time someone told them how it really is, this is amazing….

  • Michael Thorn

    “Basically, football fans are demanding to be represented properly. This will not be achieved by standing by. I encourage supporters to not only use social media and public advocacy to voice their opinions, but blatantly call out those who are looking to damage football. More importantly, perhaps, do not give any publications, may they be magazines, web sites, newspapers, or television news outlets, the luxury of your attention. Each click and view attracts the advertiser dollar. If no one is looking at the content, it will not be created.”

    So do you want us to read the articles or not?

    • Nermin Bajric

      Hi Michael,

      This is my error. I should have perhaps justified that I was referring to the media outlets which have the habit of promoting the same incomplete/false information on a daily basis.

  • mat

    I thought i was the only person that shows frustratiion towards afl dominated media..they are running scared at at the growing grassroots of our game . I was pissed off last Saturday night after the game i wasn’t allowed to leave in a certain direction a clear sign of over policing. i have seen at all games lots of people clearly intoxicated but that seems to be ok .if we have level playing field lets have riot police at afl games and see how families like it..i bring my family to all melb victory game including my 3 year old and never have problem.

  • Jacko

    It’s been happening for years but our determination has seen us get to the a-league and a great socceroos brand. We need to stick together and keep going as we are half way to where we want to be and that is THE most popular sport in australia.