So Fairfax’s football editor, Caroline Wilson, has written another couple of articles about North. And it took the NMFC peeps on the BigFooty forums all of 5 minutes (literally) to start sticking the boots in.
It’s not something new. Caro has been copping it from all directions throughout her now substantial career reporting on the AFL. Frankly, I don’t get it, and I’m beginning to get pretty fucking sick of the personal attacks she cops. The footy media is full of shit journalists, but Caro isn’t one of them. The whole thing reaps of the sexism that footy has failed to shake-off, despite a relatively good track record (at least when you compare it to the other football codes).
The truth is Caroline Wilson can write, she has good contacts within the AFL, has a nose for a story, isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions and is yet to go to the gutter – all traits of a good, ethical journalist. Fans, footy personalities and colleagues alike take every opportunity to bag her. Some say she makes shit up under the guise of confident sources, yet they seem to know nothing about the confidentiality issues surrounding journalists’ sources. Some say she is too quick to stick the boots in, failing to recognise the measured justification for her opinions, and that it’s her job to provide them. Some criticise the headlines of her column – she doesn’t write them. Nearly everyone criticise her coz she’s ‘never played the game’ – fuck off! Football itself is probably the most straight-forward aspect of the AFL to analyse. But Caro, having never played it, doesn’t touch it. Administration, politics, personnel management, public relations and the myriad of other non-football issues are her bread and butter, and she does it as well as anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, I often disagree with Caro and regularly find her annoying. But there’s no way she deserves the shit she gets. Particularly when you compare her to the dreggs of society competing for her exclusives. Here’s a very brief dishonour roll:
- Craig Hutchinson– Hutchy is a disgrace. By his own admission, Hutchy has no basis to provide comment on football itself, so, like Caro, is confined to behind-the-scenes stories. The only thing is, he has no ethics. Can by found going through the bins of footballers to break the next exclusive.
- Dylan Howard – Sacked by Channel 7 after the medical records purchasing debacle, again, has no ethics. Who employed him afterwards? Hutchy. I rest my case.
- Mike Sheehan – News Limited journo who forgot to learn how to write. I shudder at the thought of reading his work without an editor’s eye.
- Patrick Smith– Writes uneducated columns for uneducated readers (ie. Sydney-siders). Appears to know more about the state of meat pies than football.
- Scotty Palmer – He may have had something to contribute in 1975 (I doubt it, but I wasn’t around then so it’s a possibility) but certainly doesn’t now. No nose for news.
- Sam Newman – If he stuck to talking about the game (ie. the only thing he’s qualified to comment on) he’d be top shelf. The problem is he does everything but.
- Lou Richards – It’s not his fault he’s lost his marbles, he’s just old. Channel 9, do everyone a favour and give the man a rest.
And that’s the end of my story.