Currently the Australian Hockeyroo's are over in Belgium playing in the World League, and very shortly our Men will be also playing in the World League round, yet what do I find in today's West Australia Newspaper and short little piece that is you weren't looking for it or for that matter looking closely you would miss. Now for a long time I thought that this was the fault perhaps lay with our own sport, and the way we pitch and market it to the wider community, but now I am starting to wonder and question that. I believe that the Australian Sport Media and the many Australian Sport Journalist around the country are perhaps complicit with the sports of AFL, Cricket, NRL to make sure that nothing else gets a look in, I do know in recent times that the A League, Netball and NBL have managed to get coverage but this has been largely done to make it look like the Australian Sports Media are not in the tank for Cricket, AFL and NRL.
So again I ask myself why is this, why are they utterly and totally in bed with these three sports, when you consider the following-
- AFL (Australian Football League) is basically a sport that is domestic to Australia, it will never ever be international despite what the powers running the game may like to think, in addition to this it has been racked in the past and is still racked by various controversies in the area's or drugs, betting and player mis-behaviour. Yet our winter sports media is still dominated in southern states particularly by it.
- Cricket while its a international sport yes, the domestic game here in Australia has pretty much other than the Big Bash disappeared off the face of the earth, in addition to this its still plague no matter what it thinks by issue with match fixing etc, and there is a massive cancer eating away at the game which is called New South Wales Cricket. Yet despite this is remains the dominate force in the summer sports media.
- NRL (National Rugby League) while its an international sport in a sense, all though its really only dominated by three countries Australia, New Zealand and England, and in addition it continues to be racked by betting, drugs, player mis-behaviour and club mis-management scandals. Yet despite all this it still dominate the Sport media particularly in the Northern States.
Why is this?
Now I know people will say that tennis gets coverage and like say A League does to, but these two sports have massive problems in particular with Match fixing. So again despite all these issues with these sports the Australian Sports Media continues to allow them to dominate the market, and shut out or help shut out any other sport that tries to cut through. Don't get me wrong the media will rap the AFL, NRL and Cricket over the knuckles but its nothing more than a smack and say your a very naughty sport, they don't hard and press the issues, because like I say and perhaps they wont like this they are in the tank for these sports.
When the do cover Hockey and this is generally only at the Olympics, or Commonwealth Games they cant even get the names of the teams right, often called the Australian Men's Team the Hockeyroo's when they are the Kookaburras and the Australian Women's Team the Kookaburras when they are the Hockeyroo's despite being told the facts on countless occasions by Hockey Australia. Now they should be covering our sport because we actually have a good story to tell.
- An international sport played at the Olympics, which is the real pinnacle of sport.
- Our sport is scandal free.
- Allot of our top players out there are doing amazing work in the community
But perhaps I have with this just answered my own question, good news don't make a good story.
Anyway Hockey Australia are I give them there due, correcting this by working on there own online media channel etc. I believe perhaps its also time for our own dedicated Magazine in Australia for Hockey, and I would be interested in pursuing this if anyone would like to help.
But I say this one last thing to the Australian Sports Media and I know you wont like this but tough. Stop being so far in the tank for AFL, NRL and cricket, get your heads back in the game and notice that there are allot of other sports out there with a story to tell, and its a much better story than AFL, NRL or cricket could ever dream about having.