New News 2015: Footy and the Media: The Off-Field Game
Do sports stars give up a right to privacy with their success? Do journalists have a right to ask them about their personal lives? One week after the media spectacle that is the AFL Grand Final, a panel of AFL journalists, former players, and sports law experts discuss where the line between personal and public lives should be drawn.
Bill Birnbauer is an award-winning journalist and journalism academic. He worked for more than three decades as a reporter and editor at the Age and Sunday Age before moving to Monash University as a senior lecturer in journalism in 2008. He is a published author and has co-produced two television documentaries.
Bill is revising a PhD on the creation, operation and sustainability of non-profit investigative reporting centres in the United States. He is the executive editor of two online publications that feature student journalism, including mojonews.com.au. Bill also is a black belt in aikido, a non-violent martial art.
Matt Pinkney is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who specialises in content strategy across digital, broadcast and print.
In 2012, he joined the AFL as its founding Head of Content. In this role, he has been responsible for creating a dynamic newsroom, setting content strategies across all platforms and implementing cultural change as the AFL moves from client publisher to major multi-media news and feature service. The AFL’s content platforms have grown to become Australia’s biggest digital sports network, with more than 4 million weekly unique viewers in-season.
In a 23 year career with News Limited, he was a political bureau chief, senior writer, European correspondent and digital editor. He also created Australia's biggest sports fantasy game, SuperCoach.
Natalie is a barrister with a keen interest in media related and sports law matters.
Natalie has her own legal website called The Social Litigator. Her aim is to demystify the law, particularly in relation to sporting issues that have captured the public eye, such as the long running Essendon Football Club and ASADA saga.
A former partner of King & Wood Mallesons, Natalie has represented clients in all kinds of disputes, including in the sporting context. She has learnt that what is invisible to the human eye can be of greatest value to its owner (privacy, freedom, reputation and goodwill).
Tom Heenan teaches sports studies at Monash University's National Centre for Australian Studies. He has written widely on sport, both academically and in the press. His articles have appeared in Fairfax and News Corporation publications, and he is a regular contributor to the New Daily. He has also provided comment on sporting matters for local, national and international radio and television outlets.
A historian by trade, Tom has written a biography on the radical Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, and with David Dunstan has just completed a biographical study of Sir Donald Bradman that will be published by Routledge later this year.
He is currently writing a history of Australia's cricketing ties with South Asia, and investigating the impact of organised criminal and terror networks on South Asian and international cricket.
Louise Milligan is an investigative reporter for the ABC TV 7.30 program, based in Melbourne. Her exclusive interview with murdered woman Jill Meagher’s husband, Tom Meagher, her investigations into bullying at Victoria Police and her story on women sexually assaulted in psychiatric wards saw her highly commended three times at the Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
Her tell-all interview with suspended Essendon coach James Hird’s wife, Tania Hird, caused a huge stir within the AFL system and fan base – with the club’s board meeting to decide on James Hird’s future after it broadcast. This year, she has investigated a string of suicides and ice use by sailors at the HMAS Stirling Navy base and extensively covered the executions of 'Bali 9' drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Before 7.30, Louise worked for eight years at Seven News first as NSW State Political reporter, then as a Melbourne investigative reporter, specialising in freedom of information. Louise is also a former High Court correspondent for the Australian newspaper.
Terry Wallace is a former AFL player, former AFL coach, businessman and media commentator. As an AFL player who achieved great success with the Hawthorn Football Club, he was a key member of eight Grand Finals and five Premiership victories. Over his playing career, he also played for the Western Bulldogs where he achieved two Best and Fairest awards. As both a player and the coach of the Western Bulldogs, Terry received All Australian honours.
Terry was also the inaugural state sales manager of the first satellite television network in Australia, Sky Channel, born out of GTV 9.
Currently, Terry hosts nightly radio show SportsDay, appears weekly on Sky News and is a member of the Channel 9 Future Stars program.