Sometimes I wonder whether I am too blatantly open with my thoughts on tennis. I have covered many, many issues regarding the sport that otherwise may have been swept under the carpet.
Some information that I have received has in fact been from mates who I used to play juniors with, some I have researched on the net. I enjoy putting all of it on this site, it saves me bottling it up, that has it's pitfalls. When it is finally let out well, it can be rather ugly.
I recall once sending an email to a certain organization that among many other things detailed why I believed they were doing nothing but 'supporting an ego trip'. I am not quite sure whether I could've explained it any better as certain information printed in the media was in fact incorrect.
I think I referred to it as 'blatant lying' so I contacted the Editor and actually received some rather startling information.
Certain newspapers accept 'information' from the public when it comes to sporting results, they simply trust the person who has sent it in. It's obviously open to abuse as some articles have been known to stretch the truth just a little bit.
I have documented in an earlier chapter the farcical story about some juniors 'making the semi's' of a big tournament which was taken from a member of the public. This article you may remember was the one where the juniors in fact made it to the semi finals of the 'first round losers event'. This is known in tennis circles as a 'Consolation' event so it was a 'slight' stretch of the truth, sounded really impressive though.
I received a letter back saying that 'junior tennis was being promoted and we do not feel there is an issue with this'. Interesting answer.
How about this, three years ago some 'bright spark' wrote that yours truly won the both the Mens A and B Grade in my local Championship, yep A and B. An impossibility, you can only play A OR B. Poor research or a misprint ?
This year I read in the very same newspaper that two siblings had performed well at a tennis tournament. The journalist spelled their surname wrong twice, on both occasions it was not even close to being correct. It wasn't just a letter out of place, it was a completely different name ! Poor research again or just plain poor journalism ?
Did you hear about the Chinese newsreader who was sacked for pronouncing the Chinese President's name as 'Eleven' Jinping instead of Xi Jinping ?? Not quite sure how you pronounce Xi but it's definitely not 'Eleven' as the Romans do. Do you think she did her homework on how to pronounce it ?!
What about the now infamous American News 'Guru' Brian Williams who blatantly lied to the American public about a 2003 story involving himself in a US War helicopter in Iraq. What i am a little bemused at is why has it taken 12 years for this story to be redeemed ? How many other 'fictional' news items has Brian been involved in and should this guy get a job at Walt Disney instead ?
No doubt you have all seen ABC's Media Watch, outstanding program in the way that it exposes the Media for what it is much of the time, 'Glorified Sensationalism'. Well Media Watch covered a story in 2013 that was all about giving a company some publicity.
It involved Cronulla Sharks Captain Ricky Stewart walking down a Sydney street in nothing more than a pair of 'Sportsbet' jocks. Apparently some money changed hands somewhere along the line as far as advertising was concerned but the supposed 'bet' that Ricky lost has been questioned. Did it really happen or was it just a publicity stunt ?
I saw this type of thing happen locally in 'Sleepy Hollow' Albany WA where one 'attention starved' organization went on a publicity drive that had many fooled. Members of the public even posted Social Media comments praising the actions that I would call 'totally contrived'.
I refrained from posting a comment as I may have been tainted the 'bad guy', but anyone in the know knew exactly what it was all about, self promotion.
Here's another beefed up media story for you. After last year's AFL
Grand Final I read a rather funny article regarding a 'wrongly' placed bet
at the TAB, this is how it panned out, apparently.
A member of the public
mistakenly placed a ten dollar bet on the 'first goal scorer' instead of
the the 'Norm Smith Medal' winner. Now when
this person apparently checked their TAB account the next day it had an
extra 'two thousand dollars plus' in it.
I knew this could not be correct as
the first goal scorer was paying around $20 so the person would had to
have placed a $100 bet on it to receive that kind of payout. A misprint perhaps or another story that was received without checking the legitimacy of it all ?
I usually have a point to most of my chapters, I think I have written around 270 so far, most involving my sport of choice, tennis, but sometimes I just go off on another tangent and make it up as I go along. This one could definitely be classified as just that but there is always a method to my madness.
The media side of my chosen sport is definitely an area which could be improved. I have read some farcical articles over the years which would be better suited in the fiction section of the library. Most of it is self promotion at it's very best with very little substance, nature of the sport I call it.
Tennis is a sport which relies on it's clean cut image yet we still read about how good Novak Djokovic was even after he went on an a 'B Grade acting spree' in the Australian Open final against Murray. Certain media outlets praised Novak's 'mental edge' or 'mental strength'.
C'mon you guys, write about the facts, don't just print a 'Walt Disney' version for the public to read over a coffee at brekky time. 'Aah Novak wins again, too mentally tough, must have been a good match by the score line, no controversy, now what's happening in the Football World'?!
Tell it how it is, don't forget the fine print and while you are at it please do myself and the public a huge favor.
When you are not covering a story and simply relying on a 'trustworthy source', well, you may want to look just a little bit further before you print it.
Most importantly however, never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.........