Reviewing the boo of Adam Goodes

The recent event of interest to me that has been published in different media, is the controversy surrounding a fan booing indigenous Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes.  There seems to be division in what the ‘booing’ signifies.  In one capacity it is seen as the light hearted jibing that is embedded in, and has become part of Australian sports culture.  In another regard, it is a racial attack.

To gain some perspective on this issue, three different media will be highlighted, more specifically their first paragraph to see if there is any difference between them and to their news values.

The first media that will be highlighted will be that of ABC Radio Segment ‘Late Night Live’ by Smith.

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The opening vignette had Smith explain that the radio segment isn’t generally used for sports related topics and confesses to be the founder of the ‘anti-football league’.  Once he has established this, he then goes on to say that this issue demands attention.  The broadcast segment allows the audience know that because of the presenter’s stance on the sport – anything other than that is going to be unbiased.  This is cemented also in the fact that the ABC prides itself as an unbiased medium. The news values in this story concentrate on bringing together both those that might be sports fans to those that racial issues are important, highlighting the prominence of racial issues affect us all.

The second media overviewed is print from “the Age”.

The leading paragraph quickly gives the reader the who, what, when, where and how; without losing momentum in getting across its opinion that this is a racial attack.  The news value propostions itself on the defensive, taking away the blame from the majority of fans, and reiterating how much Adam has suffered.  This medium seems to take the humanitarian angle, painting Adam Goodes as a hero in all the media landscape.

The third media is reviewed is Sydney Swans online web page;

The first paragraph lets the fans know that Adam Goodes, who has been at the centre of a boo scandal, won’t be playing one of the crucial games, but reassures fans that this isn’t a pattern forming and will return.  The news value here is geared towards Sydney Swan fans, more importantly Adam Goodes fans.  The script is of a reassuring capacity – that fans aren’t losing their player.

The reason why this story interested me so much was not that I am in any shape or form a football fan, but for the different aspects that have arisen out of this happening.  On one side you could take the opinion that this has been blown out of proportion, and in another; something that I couldn’t possibly understand – and that is how an Aboriginal sports player navigates this at a professional level, with what might have been a lifetime of similar aggravations, let alone a history deep in Australian culture that one can’t possibly understand unless they themselves have lived it.  Further again the interest for me lies in how we think people should feel in general and by giving them a label to navigate whether a reaction is justified.  My feeling on this is that we are missing the big picture – we should be allowed to feel the way we feel, and not because society is only comfortable if we have been labelled first.


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