Balanced news values or parochialism?

G’day Sportsfans

I arrived in Adelaide Wednesday afternoon in preparation for a couple of functions this week – including the Almanac drinks at the Adelaide Lutheran footy club on Thursday. (C’arn the Doogies). The trip was very pleasant.

Having taken up seat 10A on the tarmac at Tullamarine I turned on the TV screen in front of me and to my great surprise (and joy) on came the second quarter of the Geelong-Carlton match.

If that weren’t enough the pilot took us on a southerly route, over what was possibly Horsham and then across the Coonawarra and along the Coorong, over Lake Alexandrina and the mouth of the Murray and for a while you could make out the entire shape of the Fleurieu Peninsula. We then flew over the Hills and approached from the east.

I am sorry to inform traditionalists (and lovers of the elongated ellipse) but the Adelaide Oval is no longer the classic long Adelaide Oval shape – it looks far more circular. (I hope I am wrong, but a circle is fairly obvious insofar as equidistance from the centre is concerned.)

We landed.

I felt I was in another nation.

This was confirmed when I watched the ABC TV news. Although disappointed it wasn’t read by the unrivalled Dominique Schwartz (that’s right: she’s in New Zealand now) I was taken by the order of stories and by the time given to each.

The story of James Hird’s appearance before ASADA today came at 7.20pm and was given 25 seconds (at the most). My question: parochialism (we don’t give a toss about Melbourne footy clubs) or balanced news values?

Off to the Barossa tomorrow.


JTH   (PS – Join us on Thursday night at ALFC)

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Peter Flynn says


  2. Do you mean the voice was pleasant to the ear, or that there really are DM’s six nations and hence the editorial decision was by definition parochial?

  3. Peter Flynn says

    Six nations

  4. Dear Great Helmsman,
    Before you start ridiculing the editorial standards and supposed parochialism of SA, WA, the Northern States and the Southern Sceptred Isle – how about having a look in your own backyard.
    This very day a publication called the VFL Almanac has called for “Nominations please for Melbourne’s best Foxtel pub”. Clearly the Leederville Hotel is beyond the scope of Almanac interest.
    I demand an apology from the miscreant editor to prevent his ritual beheading.
    For decades Geelong (Polly, Watts etc), Carlton (Kernahan and Bosustow etc), North (Blight, Cable, Krakouers etc etc) only won premierships on the basis of stealing our best footballers.
    Now you also want our minerals, our wealth and our dignity.
    Separatist of Serpentine

  5. Dave Nadel says

    Dear Separatist of Serpentine,

    I might just accept your comments that Victorian clubs won VFL premierships using WA and SA players. Even then you ought to be aware that almost all WAFL clubs only survived the early eighties by selling players and collecting transfer fees from Victorian clubs. A bit of gratitude might be in order.

    I will not however accept your comments about “our minerals, our wealth.” For the majority of Australia’s post-Federation history Western Australia was an economic basket case that survived on taxes principally acquired from Victoria and New South Wales. Now that various governments on both sides of politics have decided that Australia’s future is as a quarry rather than as a producer of primary or secondary goods, WA has come into its own, it is not unreasonable that WA pays back 75 years of tax subsidy to Victoria and New South Wales.
    Arrogant Vic of Ascot Vale

  6. Andrew Fithall says

    Dear Separitist of Serpentine,

    I am in Perth next week and was looking for somewhere to watch Collingwood v Essendon on ANZAC day. Am staying in Leederville so the Leederville Hotel sounds like an ideal venue. Thank-you for the tip. I will be going carefully with the beers (probably having none) as post-match will be off to Bayswater to be the official scorer of an under 18 girls’ lacrosse game – Victoria v (I am not sure).


  7. PeterSchumacher says

    As long as you Victorians accept that South Australia is the true Mecca of footy as in SANFL (South Australian National Football league).

  8. PeterSchumacher says

    The other thing is, Mr Harms, what a bugger, arriving in Mecca on Friday evening rather than Thursday evening. Would love to have been at the footy function on offer then.

  9. Seperatist of Serpentine, just some history re Western Australia i’d like some updating on. I’m of a generation which can recall the babble of people like Charles Court, and Lang Hancock, re Western Australia being a powerhouse, which should be treated differently than the rest of the wide, brown land of ours, but who were the characters of the early 20th century who opposed federation? I can’t recall the names but there was a small, vocal group of influential figures opposed to federation, than again there were followers of their’s resurfacing in the 1930’s, but what were their damn names !?! Can you help me?


  10. Rick Kane says

    Dear Mr AF

    Another good pub to watch the footy at is the Inglewood Hotel. I have watched a few games at this lovely establishment.

    Dear All

    As for minerals and common wealth, consider this interesting irony from long ago. In the 1890s in was Kalgoolie (the then mining wealth of the western colony) that pushed WA to Federation by declaring that it would secede from WA if WA didn’t join Federation.


  11. JTH – that traffic light in Adelaide is a killer.

    Would be saddened if the Adelaide oval has lost its shape, but, alas haven’t we all?

  12. Dominique Schwartz unrivaled? Juanita Phillips says hello…

  13. Stephen Cooke says

    This conversation is madness. Tamara Oudyn has no peer

  14. Haven’t any of you blokes seen Amelia Adams on Channel 9 ?

  15. More Victorian centric crap that noone in the rest of the country/world/universe understands. Roll on the VFLmanac.

  16. Mark Doyle says

    State parochialism is the bane of Australian federation, which is preserved in the Australian constitution and needs to be reformed. Notwithstanding that 90% of Australian people are financially well-off and that there is no person living in poverty in any city or town (the only people in Australia who live in poverty are some Aboriginal people in remote areas who do not have acceptable standards of health, housing, education and job opportunities); we could be doing a lot better without state boundaries and state governments. This would enable us to provide more assistance to poor people in Asia and other parts of the world and be better world citizens.
    With respect to TV newsreaders, most of them are garbage especially the Melbourne ABC pair of Ian Henderson and Tamara whatshername. The best newsreader on Australian TV is Ms. Lee Lin Chin who reads the weekend news on SBS.
    I also believe that the Adelaide Oval development will be a great cricket and football facility for the people of Adelaide. I was a bit sorry to see the end of the Chappell Stand, but this development has been very well designed and includes some of the original shady grass area and the original scoreboard.
    The best pub for watching footy on TV is the Aboriginal pub in Tennant Creek, N.T. where there is great enthusiasm and camaraderie and a kick of the footy at half-time behind the pub.

  17. Amelie Adams, Lee Lin Chin , Tamara Oudyn Tamara Whatshername, has no one seen Jaimee Rogers ?


  18. Barkly St End says


    Get rid of ’em!

  19. Stephen Cooke says

    Doyle, you are a bowl of soup.

  20. Rick Kane says

    Or even a radio antenna in a bowl of soup.

  21. Once you have Fox, flick to Al Jazeera ( and their newsreaders).

  22. Crio, your comment begs the question: which is the best Al Jazeera pub in Australia?

  23. Dear Arrogant Vic of Ascot Vale,
    Stop letting the facts get in the way of a good argument.
    My favourite protest slogan was an American genuinely waving a banner saying “what is our oil doing under their sand?”
    I am sure that is the attitude of most “eastern staters” to WA. We reciprocate with “what are our footballers doing on your teams”.
    Both eminently logical positions to take at the front bar of the Laurel.
    Secessionist of Serpentine

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