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MFC Media Coverage


Paul Prympke

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I may be the only who is thinking this, in which case many of you may think I’m just another crazy conspiracy theorist, but then again I may be on to something.

I think that it is fair to say there is a major discrepancy in how our club is reported on in the 2 different major news prints in Victoria, The Age and the Herald Sun. At a high level both papers have differing agendas in terms of their coverage any topic, sport or not, so it is not unexpected that they would have slightly varying view points on an event. The discrepancy on the MFC is one that concerns me however and I wanting fellow Demonlanders to comment on this to see if there is some element of truth behind my interpretation of events.

First of all I’d like to draw attention to the 2 chief football writers of both publications, Caroline Wilson and Mike Sheehan. Caroline Wilson has always had her knockers due to her slight inability to report well on on-field matters, however her off-field assessments of the game are heads and shoulders above the rest. She has also publicly thrown her support behind the Dees, announcing several key items to the media on our behalf and also committing Martin Flanagan to the club for the entirety of the 2009 season. Mike Sheehan is a different character all together, an extremely well regarded VFA player, his on-field commentaries are again some of the best in the land. Whilst his top 50 players tend be based on a personal bias of players with certain styles, which is a major talking point of any AFL season (a feather in his cap), he is none the less a fantastic reporter to read, above all else he is a confessed Demon fan.

Now to the Issue: The Age have been extremely kind to the MFC, by offering large amounts of coverage (perhaps slightly over what we deserve), in depth insights and informative articles but ahead of all of these things the articles that are written have a very positive spin, helping build up a club who is close to coming to it’s knees. The HUN continue to write minimalist reports, based on innuendo and second hand knowledge, and most of all the coverage is more about the doom and gloom rather than the potential of the future. I will use the last couple of days as an example to help illustrate my argument.

Yesterday we announced potentially one of the most significant announcements in recent history of our club, we got a Major Sponsor. The reason for it’s importance over other sponsorship announcements in the past, is that this one comes at a time when the club is at it’s most vulnerable in it’s entire history. I scoured the Herald Sun yesterday for an article to mention this…the tally 0. The Age ran it as it’s number one article, hmmm. OK so the Age were given the scoop, a reward for all the work they have done for us since November. Today however, a whole 24 hours after the announcement, the back page of the Herald Sun is plastered with an article about Sylvia slipping up again…soooo. Again I scoured the opposition paper for mention of said discretion…the tally 0. Also funny to mention that the sponsorship deal (again I highlight it’s major significance) only get’s a mention in the HUN as a sub-part of an article that is titled about Jake Spencer, and is located 10 pages in from the back. I understand that it’s not smart business to cover the same story as the opposition a day behind, but to mention it only in small print buried deep inside another article, that, let’s face it, will probably only be read by the minority.

This is just one example, so please don’t think I am basing it on a one-off. For those who read Sam Edmund’s delightfully un-insightful (or whatever the opposite of the word ‘insightful’ is) pre-season review last week you’ll know what I’m talking about. The entire article made no mention of our pre-season form and was based solely on last year’s performance, last year’s injuries…oh and of course Jack Watts, well researched journalism at it’s worse. I have no problem with Sam Edmund or is writing; however the HUN (more so Mike Sheehan) let it go to print, showing a complete disregard or obligation to show any real interest in our club.

On personal level (I know this is now treading a dangerous line, admitting emotion into an argument that is supposed to be based entirely on evidence) I also feel that running the Sylvia story as the major Football news of the day somewhat detracts and disrespects the Hankook announcement (the scoop that the HUN missed out on), sour grapes perhaps???

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What do you think Demonland faithful, am I jumping at shadows, or do I have a right to be disappointed in our major Tabloid?

Shadows.

I think we are probably getting over the odds coverage from the Age more than being treated roughly by the H-S.

Whether that is part of the sponsorship deal, who knows - although there would seem to be a correlation....

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No so much shadows as differing winds.

Keep in mind we are actually sponsored by one and not the other !!

The Hun is all said and done a daily disposable tabloid. It really makes no pretence too often to coo to the cerebral users of this town. The Age does make clain in fashion to this; whether it attains is another thing.

There is no doubting Sheahan has his favs and just possibly feels a little awkward at times taaking a dead neutral positoin on the Dees. Still this is all conjecture really.

The Hun will always go the splash on the sensational afore the content.

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The Age did have a small article on the Sylvia issue, but it was located next to the half page demons advertisment so it may have been lost in that glow, plus it was probably small not to take away from the ad, which is all positive

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G'day PP

I think Kit has touched on the reason.

The Age are a Melbourne sponsor. As a consequence it stands to reason that the club will be giving them the scoop on any stories going around, most of which will be good news stories.

The 'little paper' on the other hand has to get all its MFC news second hand and is also prone to a fair bit of tabloid journalism, which primarily means focussing on the negative and over dramatising everything which most of us don't like. But it helps generate discussion over the air waves which in turn enables them to write more articles about the same story the next day, even if it is just to tell us what someone else thinks or re-hash the same story. It is also the 'official' AFL paper and so by rights should run a story on everything happening in football.

IMHO both papers have excellent game day analysts and writers but the quality of editing is usually what sets them apart for me.

Go Dees - Building for the Future

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Good point. Look at the back page of the Sun today "NOT AGAIN" in regards to Col. Basically a half page. Our sponsorship announcement was numerous pages back and just a few line. As I recall, when the dogs announced Mission foods they got a huge spread. And you wonder why we can't get the big bucks for s sponsor?

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Interesting observations PP.

My observation of the two has been a little bit different. The Age had several long periods over the off-season (and I mean several, week+ periods) where no mention was made at all of Melbourne. There was a steady stream of articles about other clubs, but nothing about Melbourne. The HUN on the other hand seemed to keep a good amount of articles coming through. The conclusion I was getting was the the HUN was helping us out more than The Age. They were just my observations.

As far as the sponsorship coverage and the Sylvia covergae goes, I think Caro got the scoop due to good luck or good journalism. The HUN went hard with Sylvia because it likes the sensational stories. Personally I think Syvia is a bit of a disgrace and deserved the negative coverage due to his priors and the clubs situation.

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Interesting observations PP.

As far as the sponsorship coverage and the Sylvia covergae goes, I think Caro got the scoop due to good luck or good journalism. The HUN went hard with Sylvia because it likes the sensational stories. Personally I think Syvia is a bit of a disgrace and deserved the negative coverage due to his priors and the clubs situation.

More than a new AFL team sponsor?

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The heraldsun are doing a season review for all teams in their video section. They are doing it reverse order but for some reason, I can't find MFC's review. I see WCE, Freo, Port, Ess, Carlt etc but not MFC. B4 i go all hulk on the HS, can anyone else find it?

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PP, you need to look harder. The second page from the back in yesterday's HUN sport section (i.e. the one next to the TV Guide) had an article entitled Demons to sport Hankook logo in $2.1 million sponsorship deal.

You should know that The Age is our shorts sponsor, so there's no surprise that they're providing more positive MFC news. Also, in today's Age, there's a big advertisement from the club (with the same banner we get in member's emails) with the statement about Hankook. It's not in the HUN.

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Guest JACKtheRIPPER
I thought Sheehan was a demon fan as a kid, but has said he is a football fan, he does not follow a club
Sheehan is a demon, you can tell by the articles he writes when were up and flying,hes not biased like the rest,thats why hes lasted 3o years in the business.
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I used to be pretty sure the HUN gave us a bad run... frankly it was clear.

But lately...

What seems to be going on is that the Age is giving us a good run of in-depth high-exposure articles (led by Flanagan's ongoing series), while the HUN seems to be doing a little more of the small articles on us these days.

For this year, the jury is still out I think. My gut feeling is that we have a reasonably good media year coming.

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All good points guys. I think I tried to softly make the point that one paper is interested in sensationalist journalism whilst the other is more focussed on informative perspective.

Also perhaps I miscommunicated my objective of the thread. I was more concentrating on the tone of the articles that weere written as opposed to their frequencies and sizes.

I guess if you are a true conspiracy theorist you might suggest that the HUN is working with the AFL on their agenda for eliminating the weakest Victorian club out of the comp.

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If you followed the North to Gold Coast saga, you would be saying the opposite.

Maybe I'm a too much of a staunch traditionalist but I consider a forced relocation of a club the same as the extinction of it. If Melbourne were forced to move to Tassie or anywhere else I would cease to recognise it as the same club that I've supported for the last 26 years. They would still receive my support, no doubt, but I would find it hard to recognise them as the same club. So I would have to say that the North to Gold Coast still supports the concept of the AFL trying to eliminate the weakest Victorian club.

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So I would have to say that the North to Gold Coast still supports the concept of the AFL trying to eliminate the weakest Victorian club.

My point was the Age mostly Caro were running stories that tied in with the relocationists while the HUN mostly Damien Barrett were running stories that questioned the whole deal.

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All good points guys. I think I tried to softly make the point that one paper is interested in sensationalist journalism whilst the other is more focussed on informative perspective.

Also perhaps I miscommunicated my objective of the thread. I was more concentrating on the tone of the articles that weere written as opposed to their frequencies and sizes.

I guess if you are a true conspiracy theorist you might suggest that the HUN is working with the AFL on their agenda for eliminating the weakest Victorian club out of the comp.

If there is a conspiracy, it's got to be the AFL and Dwayne Russell on 3AW. He would be happy to see us go down and dance on our grave. I thinks someone needs to take him out.

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