The Penrith Panthers played well in their narrow 18-17 loss to the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night. They did better than even the most die hard Panthers supporter could have hoped for.
They showed signs that their defense is up there with some of the better teams in the competition and overall there were a lot of positives to come out of the loss.
After the match the Panthers ignited the debate over media access once more after the club claimed it fulfilled its obligation in turning up to the post game press conference only to find that no one from the media was there.
The Panthers released the following statement on their official web site regarding the matter:
The Panthers would like to advise members and fans as to why there was no post-match press conference with Ivan Cleary and Kevin Kingston after tonight’s loss to the Storm.
As per the NRL’s requirements, Ivan and Kevin made themselves available to the media in the conference room within 15 minutes of full time. As there were no journalists present to ask questions, the conference did not go ahead.
Before the media conference was due to commence, an ABC Grandstand reporter approached the Panthers Sports Media Executive for an interview with Ivan, to which he obliged.
Sometime after the NRL’s 15 minute window and once Ivan and Kevin had walked back into the change room to finish post-match recovery, several other journalists approached club staff outside asking if the Coach would be doing his post-match press conference, to which we advised he had already attended the media room, but as no one was there it did not take place.
There were no other interview requests for the Coach or Panthers players at the ground tonight.
I can honestly see the Penrith Panthers point on view on this.
If the captain and coach turn up to the scheduled media window and no one bothers to turn up to ask them any questions, what are they supposed to do?
This post match press conference window is there for a reason. It allows the media to gather the content they need for their post game wrap ups. They can ask any questions they like while the game is still fresh in the minds of the player and coach. Its a great opportunity that I’s surprised to find out the media don’t prepare for and make sure they attend.
What were they doing instead that was so important?
As I wrote earlier this week, NRL clubs need the media a lot less than they use to in the past. The Penrith Panthers can directly contact 14,600 supporters on Twitter and a further 65,000 supporters on Facebook.
Through these social media channels the Penrith Panthers can give post match information directly to their fans, unedited.
That the club captain and coach turned up to a post match press conference for a full 15 minutes and the media chose not to attend is not the Panthers fault. That was the media’s opportunity to get the content they need was not taken up is on the media, not the Panthers.
No doubt many within the media will spin this as the Panthers being arrogant. They will suggest that the club turned it back on its own supporters. That isn’t the case.
The media had one job to do on Saturday night, to gather content for themselves to use and sell on the following day. That they didn’t take up that opportunity is an issue the media needs to look at themselves.
The relationship between Rugby League clubs and the media is changing. Now more than ever it is a two way street. The media is starting to find that there are standards they are now being held to by clubs. It seems those standards are a little hard to reach at times…
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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