Years ago

Creek claims AFL stuff out of context, journo posts audio

Our NBL writer Boti Nagy was on leave so I was asked to go down to Adelaide Arena.

While I was there I thought I'd ask Creek about the article — which given his status as one of Australia’s premier young basketball talents was in my opinion worthy of a follow-up.

We spoke for seven minutes (I had to rush to an Adelaide United press conference immediately after) about the article, his plans to train with Essendon, what it would take for him to change sports and whether he thought he’d be worth a big money contract.

I filed the story and it ran last Thursday.

That morning 36ers marketing manager Paul Bonsor called to let me know Mitch was "pissed off" with the article.

The club was concerned it was a distraction as they approached finals and asked next time if I could let them know what I was going to write about before it ran in the paper.

Paul was professional and courteous and I appreciated the phone call.

Later that night I received a Facebook message from Mitch expressing his disappointment with the article.

There’s no need to reveal specifically what he said, but he was more than reasonable and I took his criticism on board.

I haven’t had a lot to do with Mitch during his four seasons in Adelaide but have found him to be friendly, confident and a huge fan favourite.

For what it’s worth I enjoyed hearing what he had to say about the AFL and his football ability.

I’ve never had a problem with athletes expressing confidence or speaking openly about the financial considerations that go into their decisions. More should.

This Tuesday I became aware of an interview Mitch did on radio station FreshFM. He addressed the article and suggested I’d badly taken him out of context.

I’ve got no problem with Mitch presenting his side of the situation but also heavily value my reputation.

So I’m posting the audio of our original interview so you can make up your own mind.

Topic #33891 | Report this topic

Years ago

Does Mitch deserve a bit of warning that the story on this angle might run and that was the purpose of the conversation? Sounds like his only crime was to be too forthcoming with Bednall.

It's sad that the future Mitch would say only "I play for the 36ers and have no plan to play AFL in the future" and shut down any line of questioning.

When the current Mitch is someone who's a bit friendlier and willing to talk openly about the reality (we'd almost all change jobs if offered vastly higher amounts of money) and also about his personal plans (Creek visiting AFL clubs to learn about alternate training regimes).

Reply #461163 | Report this post

Years ago

Isaac, I think the point is Creek shouldn't be doing interviews with footy journos about a possible switch to the AFL when the 36ers are 2nd on the ladder right at the business end of the season with genuine championship hopes.

It also doesn't look good when you go on radio and accuse one of the leading footy journos in the state from the only newspaper in town of badly taking you out of context.

Reply #461168 | Report this post

Years ago

Well we all know what "The Bald Guy" on the sidelines at Perth will be talking to Creek about when 36ers and Wildcats inevitably meet in the finals.

Reply #461169 | Report this post

Happy Days  
Years ago

Was the converstaion on the record or off the record?If he didnt want to talk tell the journo wait till the seasons over and come back and see me then.Shows a lack of awareness on Mitchs behalf as to how the media operates.

Reply #461172 | Report this post

Years ago

Jai could have included the last part which he said along the lines of 'even if they did offer all that stuff, i'd [probably?] say no anyway, [something about loving basketball too much].

Seems like he's talking himself up as being someone capable of being an AFL player opposed to actually being keen to play AFL over Basketball which is how the article is making it out to be. Mitch talking his talents up, there's nothing wrong with that, he's a cocky guy but I don't think there's anything unrealistic about what he said, nor is there anything which says he's keen to go to the AFL over the NBL either.

Reply #461173 | Report this post

Years ago

No such thing as off the record with any journalist

Mitch was heavily recruited a few years ago by AFL teams promising the world to him. They know who he is and he knows who they are.

Mitch wants to play basketball. If he keeps continuing on his path he will be in Euro making more in 6 months than years in the AFL

Reply #461175 | Report this post

Years ago

This journo wants to protect his reputation, and fair enough too.

Not sure what his reputation will be like now though, anyone he talks to has to wonder whether the full audio will end up being leaked.

Reply #461178 | Report this post

Years ago

Who was the 36ers media person that accompanied Mitch during the interview????

Do the 36ers even have a media person???

Reply #461182 | Report this post

Years ago

There are no such things as 'on the record' or 'off the record' conversations when talking to the media.

If you say it, it's fair game. If you don't want certain information released, keep it to yourself. It's pretty simple.

With no information about how the 36ers manage media, and from an outsiders point of view who works every day with the media, there seems to be some media management issues at play here.

Reply #461185 | Report this post

Years ago

and #461182 was me...

Reply #461186 | Report this post

Years ago

Isaac, I think the point is Creek shouldn't be doing interviews with footy journos about a possible switch to the AFL when the 36ers are 2nd on the ladder right at the business end of the season with genuine championship hopes.
If he refused to speak with the journo (from the biggest paper in town, blah blah) would that help the 36ers' cause any more in terms of rapport with occasional basketball writers?

Worst case, Mitch is naive in assuming his words would be taken at face value.

Like I said, he could've shut it down and that's probably what will happen next time. But it'd be nice if you could hear the real deal and not have it painted as a bit of something it's not. Mitch checking out AFL trainings from a perspective of staying personally fit and educated is great initiative. Saying that he'd dig holes for a million is honest.

Reply #461189 | Report this post

Years ago

Mitch is still a kid, dont say what you dont want to be public. Simple stuff.

Reply #461190 | Report this post

Years ago

As someone that works in the basketball "media" I can say there's certainly an off the record.

Whenever I interview/chat with anyone if we are talking about something that I feel could be private I ask if it's off or on the record. A lot of players/coaches/reps even say to me "on the record" and answer the question then say "off the record" and expand on the answer if its sensitive info.

I understand why he posted the audio, still I think it's poor form.

Reply #461192 | Report this post

Years ago

Nat I think you may be in a privileged spot.
Lazy journos looking for exclusives in a twitter based world will conveniently write whatever gets the lines in the papers

Reply #461200 | Report this post

Years ago

AFL journos will always jump at an opportunity to let the world know that a young guy with Creek's athletic ability might be possibly looking at an AFL career.

Hell, if they ever interview James Ennis and he said he didn't mind watching the game they'd probably have the headlines as "NBA Prospect James Ennis Wants To Play AFL".

Maybe Mitch Creek was a bit naive when talking to a reporter. He'll learn from it.

Reply #461204 | Report this post

Years ago

It's a pretty clear implication that he loves basketball and the (international) opportunities it provides, but AFL could represent better earnings prospects. It is also reasonably clear that that the tipping point that Mitch would require in order to switch codes is not realistically going to be offered by AFL clubs.

Don't think the journalist had added any weight to his argument here.

Reply #461206 | Report this post

Years ago

Also, this article lead to a massively derpish response on twitter by that oaf Tex Walker "herpaderp I can play da basketballs for a million too derp". So Mitch did catch some unwarranted heat from this article misrepresenting his intentions.

Reply #461207 | Report this post

Years ago

Its one of the advantages of the NCAA system.

Athletes go under intense media training.

It appears nothing of the like happens here.

Reply #461214 | Report this post

Muzz Buzz  
Years ago

I am impressed an AFL player has developed the brain capacity to log into twitter

Reply #461217 | Report this post

Years ago

"As someone that works in the basketball "media" I can say there's certainly an off the record."
That just means you don't attribute, though, not that you don't publish, doesn't it? Otherwise what would be the point?

That, and it only exists if the journalist in question is ethical enough to respect it. Of course, one who isn't quickly stops getting the more sensitive information, so it's certainly a good idea even just for pragmatic reasons.

Reply #461225 | Report this post

Years ago

It seems that Jai has extended the truth a little bit here. The article has a fairly provocative headline and a spin to it (it's News Corp...) that encourages people to focus on particular words of the interview more so than others in order to make it appear like there's a real and legitimate prospect that Creek might go to AFL.

The "full audio", doesn't represent that, in my opinion.

I don't see what is wrong with Creek's words, they aren't the most articulate, but they're not anything controversial or anything that should distract the 36ers. Saying he'd dig a hole for a million dollars, is a realistic reference to the 'never say never'/'every man can be brought' and saying he loves AFL/that he would be good at football only proves he believes in his own capability of being able to play AFL, not that he is considering the switch. The context of the article doesn't quite represent what he was trying to convey.

The idea that he's going to Essendon for his personal fitness stuff is another important qualifier. Creek made a pretty clear statement towards the end of the 'conversation' stating that even if he was offered the world to play AFL, he'd still rather play basketball.

I don't think Jai's reputation is at threat, it's a rather typical and generally mild attempt at sensationalising an interview so that the material will attract readers. He didn't lie or say anything malicious, he just took an interesting approach at interpreting the words.

Change a few sentences around and the article is less sensationalised but also probably not worthy of sparking a topic of conversation on here. It's realistically more of a off-the-cuff story/conversation, with no real meaning behind it. At best it's worth a brief paragraph article stating he's using connections in the AFL to explore fitness options and that he still has a general keen interest in the sport as an ex-player.

This kind of sensationalist stuff is common, and we're probably used to Boti Nagy's straight-up and direct method of writing. We shouldn't expect the Boti Nagy approach by most journalists.

Reply #461227 | Report this post

Years ago

'Off the record' doesn't exist, and if you believe that it does you've been led down the path. Sorry.

When they say 'off the record', the media/journalist just choose not to run it at the time for a number reasons. Sometimes it's to build trust or a relationship, sometimes it just because the information isn't relevant to the current topic. Trust me, if the opportunity arises to create a shit storm with 'off the record' information they will. You're naive to think otherwise.

Once the media have it, it's only a matter of time before they'll use it, and rarely is it for 'good'.

It's poor media management to have 'off the record' and 'on the record' responses. There should only be one response.

Old saying applies, loose lips sinks ships.

Reply #461237 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

Media training is important!

Remember years ago in the days of wet film cameras, there would be the staged shot for the story then the old trick of "we've just a few photos left of them film. It'll be a tragedy to waste them, how about a few fun shots?" Guess which ones were always used!

The media angle the journo wants to take is so important. Some years ago someone wanted to do a feature article on myself for work purposes and I reluctantly agreed. He was a huge baseball fan and asked if I played, or was a fan. I casually mentioned I had played a single game of junior baseball for one of the district clubs as a fill in in the 70's and at my only bat I was hit, had a walk to first, but brought 3rd base home. Naturally, that was the focus on the article. I felt a bit like the great Bob Neil. (i'm not worthy)

A footy journo will always have a different angle from that of a basketball journo.

Reply #461242 | Report this post

Years ago

I don't see what was wrong with Creek's conversation

Reply #461243 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

KET, it was pretty much matter of fact. "if I was paid $1M to dig holes for 8 hours a day.."

Reply #461244 | Report this post

Statsheet Stuffer  
Years ago

Journalism is meant to address both sides of the story equally (objectivity) and in this case, for want of a better illustration, it's a battle between basketball and football.

Mitch talked about both equally, but the footy quotes are way more predominant than the basketball ones.

The journo took an easy out by leading the true and obvious interpretations of Mitch's quotes down his own garden path a little, just to enhance the 'conflict' news value.

Also, it's funny what a bit of punctuation does:

The third par in the original story reads, "Look for me to change codes..."

On a quick read, I was like 'what the heck! he's looking to change codes!?' I had a mini heart attack

Should've probably had a comma after 'Look'.

Reply #461247 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

SS, Commas are everything. For example:

"Let's eat, Grandpa" vs "Let's eat Grandpa"

Reply #461249 | Report this post

Camel 31  
Years ago

"A work is not a series of answers, it is a series of is not the answer that enlightens, but the questions." Eugene Ionesco

(One time I asked tennews to hold the story for 24hours and they did. Two days later she came back and said to me; " We held the story as you asked , but every other tvnews ran it on the same nite that we did, so you have to give us the exclusive next time.")

Reply #461258 | Report this post

Statsheet Stuffer  
Years ago

Haha yeah Jack, the proverbial horse has well and truly been given a hiding there. That one, along with 'knowing your shit and knowing you're shit' appears on my news feed probably once a week -- that number's too damn high!

Reply #461330 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

Mike Moore, Frontline, wrote the book on journalism

Reply #461340 | Report this post

I am Mike Moore  
Years ago

"But I have just been on the radio saying we won't be involved in cheque book journalism"

"Well Mike, you are going to look like an idiot, aren't you."

Reply #461344 | Report this post

Years ago

Mmmmm, disturbing report there from Jai Bednall.

Reply #461355 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

I jokingly call the Advertiser the "Crow-vertiser" because of the constant Crows stories throughout the year (even in the off season) The sports section is dominated by the attention. In the paper of Thu 6-Mar-14. AFL fills 7 pages (back pages as well), Cricket 1.86 pages, Soccer 1 page, Racing 1 pages, WNBL 70% of a page, bowls 25% of a page, Paraolympics 16% of a page, NRL 15% of a pageBaseball 14% of a page, Surfing 10%, netball 10%.

So I think that accounts for 56% of the coverage being on a sport that is actually in its off-season at the moment.

Reply #461360 | Report this post

Years ago

everything that was said in the article Creek said in the interview.. So I cant see why Creek would come out and say it is untrue and bad reporting. He has got to stop being so up himself and thinking he is the best thing going around. Brendan Teys is starting before him for god sake.

Reply #461362 | Report this post

Years ago

Yeah, a journalist wants to keep his reputation. Now officially a dog! Or could apply for a job at Herald Scum in Melbourne. Perfect!

Karma's a bitch when it bites.

Reply #461539 | Report this post


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