Part of my love of sport is the way sport is presented, written about and broadcast. It’s also going to be a focus of mine as we go – literally, ‘From the Sofa’.
Recently on The Armchair Selector vodcast I mentioned the guys from Mediaweek who do podcasts about – well, Australian media. The episodes I referred to were their interviews with Tony Jones, Craig Hutchison, and Francis Leach. For the past few weeks, I’ve been getting up much earlier and going for a morning walk (finally!), so that, combined with the daily train trip, means I have time to listen and then reflect. Mediaweek podcasts are not fancy; they’re intelligent, interview-based questions with people in the media, and indeed as someone who finds the machinations of the media fascinating and not enough attention given to ‘the media’ by the media, the podcasts have rapidly become required listening. They are very good.
Today I listened to two Mediaweek podcasts, which were fascinating in terms of style and content. Both raised some key issues in their own way.
First up (pre-dawn – and didn’t he wake me up!) was AFL commentator and fishing show host, Rex Hunt. Rex was at 3AW for many years, before being retired, and then heading to MMM. His chat with James Manning and Brenden Wood looked at his time at 3AW, the move from AW to MMM, and now his work with Croc Media (with the aforementioned ‘Hutchy’). Rex’s style is take it or leave it – there’s no doubt he has had a very distinguished and lengthy career, and his reflections on what he listens to now were fascinating. Listening though I could not help but wonder if every sentence ending was going to have a ‘ka-pow’ style delivery to it. Rex’s style of football calling was not my cup of tea, but all power to him – he did what he did successfully for many years. It’s an interview worth listening to for the insights he brings, if you don’t mind the Rex-isms along the way.
Tonight on the way home I listened to Rebecca Wilson, who I kind of know a bit about but didn’t know she was now on 2UE, or she’d thought of doing a book on Ian Thorpe. This is a really good interview and Rebecca offers some superb, almost cutting observations about the AFL’s move into Sydney (and why aren’t they in Tasmania?…), as well as the challenges of bringing new callers into sports broadcasting (she focuses on rugby league). I won’t mention too much more, suffice to say that her comments about various football shows, David Gallop and Twitter (she’s not on it) are well worth a listen.
Perhaps ironically despite the differences of code (me rugby, she union, Rex AFL) and cities, Rebecca’s comments were particularly insightful. She can talk – but she talked lots of sense.
If you don’t already, I thoroughly recommend listening to the Mediaweek podcasts, both from a sporting media perspective and also a general media education sense. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing – and recommending – more of their podcasts in the future.
Image courtesy greentimes.com.au