My narrative interview was with Digital Producer and Sports Journalist, Adrain McMurray. Adrian has been a mentor of mine since the start of my university experience assisting me with sample interviews and giving me some important teachings and advice. Adrian allowed me to interview him for this narrative interviewing giving me the necessary answers and information for the presentation.
In preparing for my interview with Adrian I completed extensive background research on his work history and his career. After creating a basis for my interview I then drafted questions which I believed would allow me to obtain the necessary information for my presentation. The interview questions were ordered in a way in which he could tell a story from the start of his career (high school and internships) through to the current (digital producer at the Australian). The core to the assignment was to see how professionals in my chosen degree shaped and formed their professional values. To find out Adrian’s values and how he shaped his values, I decided to base all my key questions on the idea of professional and social values.
I also wanted to see if there were any disruptions in his working career which have shaped the way he operated within his working sphere. The key moment which Adrian pointed out was his press conference with NRL coach, Wayne Bennet. In this press conference, Adrian was an intern juggling work with his university studies when he fell asleep. An embarrassing moment that created disruption however was put to the side by focusing on his professional values.
DELIVERING THE PRESENTATION
Unfortunately leading up to the presentation I became sick and I lost my voice. This became a personal disruption as I was planning to record my audio on the day in which I became sick. Apart from this disruption, the production and delivery of the presentation were fine.
I aimed to keep a consistent aesthetic throughout the presentation with a blue and white background. Creating the presentation on Canva made it easy to incorporate both the audio and the visuals together. Selecting the audio clips from the interview was made easy as I decided to list the times of the important segments to avoid the hassle of looking back through my audio file.
Overall completing this presentation taught me a lot about the future of my work career. It also taught me what type of values I should hold myself to when starting my next internship and what I should expect in the media landscape.
Sports writing is a type of journalism that is refined to its own niche market. Unlike other forms of journalism such as crime, national affairs, and business journalism etc., sports journalism can only truly be understood and viewed by a sports-watching audience. However, there is the ability to merge forms of journalism together in collaboration. Sports journalism has recently collaborated with business journalism to document the financial and marketing sides of sporting events and corporations. For my project, I have aimed to move away from the conventional sports journalism practice and have tried to incorporate a storytelling convention into my writing. By doing this, I have tried to increase my target market and expanded from the sports-watching audience. Through telling a story through the athletes’ eyes, I have created a more emotive form of writing which has increased my interaction statistics from previous semesters. This is ‘Mugg Sport’, the modern-day sports journalism redefined.
Coming into the second semester of my final year at the University of Wollongong, I was in a position where I was struggling to find my own niche within the Communications and Media Degree. In starting my Bachelor of Communications and Media and Journalism, I decided to hone in on my passion for photography and videography. I created JJ and Co, a photography and videography platform which would aim to showcase my design and creative skills. This was a platform that gained over 300 followers and obtained hundreds of likes and views, however, was not a feasible career path. Moving into my second year of university, I decided to pursue journalism. I and a few aspiring journalists decided to create a media and news platform called ‘Ransack’. An Australian news outlet which stretched from politics to entertainment to sport. I myself decided to head down the road of sports journalism, finally selecting my own niche within the Communications and Media degree. I was content with writing and decided to incorporate my passion for design within the Instagram platform. However, unlike my original ‘JJ.and.Co’ platform, I didn’t gain enough traction from my intended targeted audience. My content was plain and simple. Sports news from around Australia and basically news which had already been documented over large-scale sports-media outlets.
Arriving at the BCM302 subject I knew I had to make it a big project. A project which would truly showcase my passion for sports writing and sports journalism. Yet it couldn’t just be your everyday news. In collaboration with my journalism course, I decided to intertwine my feature writing subject with the advanced media subject to create a platform that would incorporate feature articles on the topic of world sport. ‘Mugg Sport’ was started as a platform to promote positive sports news articles on athletes around the world. By branching out of pure sports media content, I was able to increase my audience via not only showing positive on-field stories, however, showing positive stories off the field.
Mugg Sport started with a prototype. An idea which was sampled through a 3-post-a-week aethetic collaborating journalism with design. There were only a few material features, however, when distributing the first article, I framed an idea for my audience to see.
My first article was on English Footballer and advocate, Marcus Rashford. Rashford had always been known as England football’s most promising young talent and had shown his prowess in recent years. However, during COVID-19, Rashford decided to do what not many footballers have done in the past. In the wake of prime minister, Boris Johnson’s decision to cancel England’s legislation for free school meals, Rashford decided to advocate against the prime minister’s decision. In teaming up with the charity, ‘Fair Share’, Rashford decided to deliver meals himself to the families that needed it the most. This act of pure kindness along with countless other examples of charitable work earned Rashford the prestigious MBE. An article that acted as a catalyst to start my new journey, the post gained 45 likes and received plenty of feedback.
After a few weeks of writing feel-good stories on famous athletes in the world of sport, I decided to dive out of my comfort zone and seek an interview. After drafting countless messages, I finally decided to reach out and ask Cronulla Sharks young gun, Franklin Pele, for an interview. Within 10 minutes he replied and granted my interview within a few days’ time. A true breakthrough for my journalistic work would act as a catalyst to change in my writing and my own self. The article gained 315 views on the website, 78 likes on Instagram, several shares, upwards of 40 comments and 469 accounts reached. From that point on I decided to reach out for interviews with athletes from different sports. My next interview was with Adelaide Striker, Liam Scott, who had recently made his debut. Not only did he make his first professional debut, yet he had made the move away from his home in Sydney to pursue a career in professional cricket, therefore there was that added news element other than just his sporting career. Courtney Newbon was next. A 20-year-old goalkeeper who had made five professional W-League appearances and had recently sealed a new two-year deal with Perth Glory. We spoke about the new move as well as her passion for advocating for climate change. A multi-faceted news story that appealed to a wider target market as it was further shared by Newbon herself. My latest post was with Luke Bain. A 20-year-old professional rugby league player from Bathurst and born in America. Luke had already played for three NRL clubs and had yet to make his debut at each one. It was interesting to go into detail about the different clubs and his take on training and how important your mental state is when trying to reach your goals.
Four interviews, three different sports and a wealth of experience with professional athletes, I have now obtained the motivation and dedication to take this project to a new level. I thoroughly believe that this project can be scaled even higher with a larger audience and a market that has the potential to grow.
Starting the semester out, I intended to write articles about athletes and their positive stories, however, after completing interviews with professional athletes, my project intentions took a positive change. I decided to interview younger athletes and write articles showcasing their journey to date and promote the athlete both on and off the field. After five interviews, I know now that their potential for growth and the projects future trajectory is limitless if completed right.
A journalism technique that I have tried to get good at is the art of interviewing. The idea of an interview has molded and developed through time. In the current age, interviewing is defined as more of a conversation. A conversation between interviewer and interviewee designed to excrete the necessary information in a light manner. In interviewing athletes, I aimed to take a conversational approach which allowed for me to ask personal questions. When asking more personal questions, I made sure I didn’t cross any boundaries and more tried to get a grasp of who the athlete was off the field rather than on it. Through experience, I believe I have gotten better at interviewing and will only increase the projection of this project into the future as there is potential to expand globally.
Another factor contributing to the positive projection of this project is the attraction I have gained from professional journalists. I have received an offer for an internship from the work that I have done throughout the semester. A positive step in the right direction and a personal reward from the work I have done throughout this past semester.
There are many sports media outlets in the current digital world. However, when looking at the Australian digital landscape, there aren’t many which highlight a variety of sports and with an inviting aesthetic.
The first step in creating my own platform was personalising my content to cater for my audiences needs. Adding my own writing style and designing my posts in my own personalised way, separated my content to other platforms, whilst also being free to view unlike large media outlets.
“A brand positioning strategy, therefore, involves creating brand associations in customers’ minds to make them perceive the brand in a specific way”.
Creating a brand position through the uniqueness of my writing and a visually aesthetic design has separated ‘Mugg Sport’ from other competing platforms.
TEACHINGS AND LESSONS
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
When starting my project, all wanted to focus on was writing about athletes and their stories, yet I never thought I would get the opportunity to interview these athletes. It took a lot for me to come out of my shell. I had always been scared of getting myself out there and showing my work. The most ironic thing was the fact that I had always wanted to be a journalist, therefore to get to that stage I would have to show people my work at some stage.
Thanks to friends and family, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and start interviewing. By even reaching out to athletes, I started to realise that failure can be viewed as a learning oppurtunity. I was advised by the people around me to go after interviews and not just wait for ones to come to me. It took a lot of guts personally to ask for my first interview with Franklin Pele but when looking back I’m so glad I did it. This lesson has not only changed the way I interview and write but the way I live life.
Connections are important
I’ve been told throughout my journalism course that making connections are important, but I didn’t truly know how important these connections made actually were. With the Franklin Pele article, I gained traction from other outlets and athletes which connected me with other people. Friends and family would also tell me about athletes that they knew who would be willing to do an interview. Everything became surreal as I started to line athletes up for the upcoming weeks.
All connections matter, there is no weak connection. All athelets from all sports and all corners of the globe are welcome within my platform. I feel like it’s my job with the platform I have to share and showcase different types of stories to my audience. In doing this, I create a broad platform with an even broader audience.
Refer back to target market – feedback loop
All feedback helps with the progression of my project. In particular, I have used the feedback loop to direct the way in which I create my content. I started with a prototype which was simply sampled through using the FIST principle in the opening weeks with the Marcus Rashford and the Patty Mills post. After positive feedback from my audience, I decided to frequently iterate and create a brand position through my work. The feedback, whether its comments, shares or positive messages, has been integral to the success of my project throughout this semester.
Frank’s digital artefact is an Australian hip-hop merchandise brand called ‘Mori Boys’. ‘Mori Boys’ was created to solve the problem that that there is a disparity between Australian hip-hop artists and merchandise. In starting ‘Mori Boys’, Frank aims to become a catalyst of sorts to start a new era of hip-hop branding through unique merchandise, thus promoting hip hop to not only Australia but the world. Australian hip-hop artists benefit from this project as they are provided with an alternate avenue of income.
Growth and Iteration
Through participating in consistent consultation since the ideation stage, it’s clear to see the progress that ‘Mori Boys’ has made throughout the semester. In the methodology section of his digital artefact pitch, Frank states that he wants to have his first clothing line ready to distribute by the end of the semester. In his recent Digital Artefact Beta, he mentions that the first clotting drop will be scheduled for the end of October, proving that Frank has kept a clear and concise trajectory since the ideation phase.
Another key aspect of Frank’s project beta video was incorporating a feedback loop with his audience. Frank has incorporated feedback from his audience through his posts on Instagram. The comments feature was utilised in a post asking which colour was preferred by his target audience. This invites viewers to interact and creates more noise around the merchandise drop.
Frank’s personally made progress through showcasing his black and purple logo tees on his Instagram account. He has put a rough date on the merch drop and has posted teasers on his Instagram promoting his clothing line. However, through creating a merchandise project, Frank decided to add more features to keep his target audience entertained. Keeping with the hip-hop genre, Frank has created a ‘Mori Boys Music’ feature which showcases local Australian hip-hop talent. Through creating a playlist with new songs from Australian artists, Frank has shown that there is potential to incorporate music journalism within this project.
Mori Boys has created a successful hip-hop persona around the platform which invites Australian hip-hop fans. Yet I do believe there is potential to grow through producing more content for his target market. At the start of the pitch, Frank said he would like to produce 1-3 posts each week. Due to COVID-19 maintaining this has been a struggle, and definitely a struggle for many content creators. However, post which show behind the scenes aspects or how the merch is created, would entice viewers and create more noise around the drop.
‘FOREIGN FOOTY’ – LEO TWEMLOW
Leo’s project focuses on the sport of rugby league in America, shining light on an underdeveloped market in America that has the potential to grow. With a belief that NRL and NFL share similarities within their gameplay, Leo has decided to create reels and posts which highlight the link between the two sports. The reels include popular moments in rugby league which showcase the individual talents of certain players. These reels have been successful and have drawn the attention of a rugby league player from Cleveland, Ohio, who then asked Leo to create a package to distribute to NRL teams. Leo then was offered an internship from Cleveland Rugby League successfully proving that his project concept and idea was achievable.
Growth and Iteration
Leo has created nine posts on his Instagram page adhering to a consistent iteration of content. Posting clips to both his Instagram page and his Tik-Tok account, Leo has tested his method of distributing popular NRL clips throughout the semester, using hashtags and key words to further promote his content. Using hashtags such as #nrl, #nrlfinals and #nrlhighlights, promotes his content to an NRL watching audience, creating a target market for his project. His latest post has received a tremendous response from his viewers receiving 1537 views.
With the NRL season now over, Leo may have to source content from other areas. By building on his platform with his new client from the Cleveland Rugby League side, Leo can work with him to produce more content showing off his skill through video editing or tutorial-like videos.
Leo can even go back in time and revisit highlights from the old-school era of rugby league. Delve into how the game has changed, what laws have been implemented throughout time and continuing to compare the sport of rugby league to the American NFL.
I know through studying with Leo for a few years now that he is keen on sports journalism. This platform is a great pathway into creating and distributing journalistic content while still maintaining his current NRL to NFL narrative. Personally, Ive found no harm in reaching out to players and asking them for interviews. Sometimes it has payed out and other times it hasn’t, however, interviewing American rugby league players or Australian rugby league players would be a great way to boost his platform while showing his flexibility.
For BCM302 this semester, I have chosen to create a digital artefact which will benefit my personal portfolio. My DA is called ‘Mugg Sport’. A sports media platform which aims to showcase my skills of sports writing and design together to create a visually aesthetic and informative platform for my audience.
When initially starting my project, I decided to create my own niche of sports writing. I wanted to showcase the positive contributions which athletes were making off the field. To start my artefact, I wrote an article on Marcus Rashford. An English footballer known for his work off the field in advocating for free school meals for all English students.
In writing this article, I wanted to place a foundation as to what type’s of articles my audience would expect going into the future. However, my project was turned on its head as I decided to reach out to athletes for interviews. Since then, I have written profile interview’s with young athlete’s with a great story to tell.
My most popular article to date was with young Cronulla Shark, Franklin Pele. In the past year, Pele had made his debut after receiving plenty of praise from people around the NRL. Yet in the same season, he was also struck down with injury. Capturing the highs from his debut game and the lows from his unfortunate injury created an entertaining story showcasing what it was like to play professionally and what it takes to return from a demoralising setback.
The post received 80 likes, plenty of comments and a plethora of shares. I also gained a significant boost in following through an immense interaction rate.
Since the start of BCM302, I have consistently uploaded one article week including four podcasts. Contributing to my platform, I also upload teasers and posts providing background research and context to the players I’m interviewing. In total I have made 23 posts and have 161 followers. My posts are published on my own personal Wix website and then promoted on my Mugg Sport Instagram page.
Since commencing my project, I haven’t really changed much, however, have decided to iterate my design to see if it is a formula which works. Within the iteration phase, I have adhered to creating a ‘brand position’ which differs me from other sports media platforms. In writing articles which focus on athletes work off and on the pitch, I believe I have already created a niche around my project and a unique brand position.
Another way in which I am creating a unique brand position is the way in which I ensure my platform look visually pleasing. Most competitors around me solely focus on distributing articles and this was where I wanted to create something different. A unique platform which frames to, not only the sports-watching audience, however, viewers who can appreciate quality design and creativity.
I am proud of what I have created to date and believe that my project has the potential to expand and grow. Now that I have started to consistently interview athletes, I feel like there is potential to expand into different sports, interview athletes from outside of Australia and potential to grow into the world of podcasting.
I know I have work to do to build this artefact into something greater and am willing to put in the effort to do so.
Narrative practice allows for the recollection of specific events and periods in one’s life which can stem nuanced perspectives. These nuanced perspectives can provoke future refinement, creating possibilities for one’s future.
As a form of narrative practice, storytelling can be used as a conversation between yourself, the author, and your audience. Storytelling emphasises what has shaped and molded your life, bringing forward experiences which have given your life value and meaning (White, 2021).
It is vital that we continue storytelling as a narrative practice in our society. The ways in which it allows for people to recount and reflect can bring forward lived experiences which may be repeated in a more serious manner.
When I think of an experience where I acted to disruption and change, I revisit back to the time where I became a supervisor for our work decant team. This experience shaped me into the type of worker I am today as it has taught me what it truly takes to become a leader in a workplace.
I work at Kmart in Hurstville. I started my Kmart career in November 2019. As I was a former bartender at the Bavarian in Miranda, the change of scenery was a fresh one. I started as a sequence worker, filling products on the floor. I then ventured into the decant industry where I would learn the basics of a job that I would continue for the next year and a half.
Only a few months ago I started my role as a supervisor. A role with a common stereotype attached. You are bossy, you are angry, and you are unfair. However, there were plenty of positives that were also attached. Increased pay, more hours and authority, meaning my friends were now working for me.
This change in my life acted as a disruption to my working experience, which at the time, was running smoothly. I was becoming comfortable in my position. I noticed myself becoming good at my job, receiving compliments and small awards for my work. I also found myself making new friends who worked in decant and we began to go out together, grabbing dinner and drinks.
My supervising career started quite rough. I wasn’t taught anything, rather I had to self-teach myself the basics. I often couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced style and found myself making mistakes after mistakes. I tried to source support from my managers, however, they often replied with “Just do whatever you think is right”. Yet ironically most things I did were wrong.
The new role was a major learning curve. But with time, I started to cope with the role. I learn new things every shift and with the help of my workmates, my job became easier. An important teaching which I have learnt with this role is the fact that I must not doubt myself in a new job. Staying confident was the key to getting better and this teaching is something which I will take into my next jobs in the future.
The term ‘re-membering’ was coined by anthropologist, Barbara Myerhoof. The term was used to define a “special type of recollection” (Myerhoff, 1980). For example, the term can work to raise awareness or attention to “the reaggregation of members, the figures who belong to one’s life story”.
Narrative therapist, Michael White, then introduced the term ‘re-membering’ into narrative therapy (White, 2021). White introduced the concept called ‘the club of life’, explaining that everyone has a club of members to in their life. These members work to form and shape our identity through significant experiences and lessons.
“Re-membering practices are based on the poststructuralist understanding that our identities are forged through our relationships with other people”. – Shona Russell & Maggie Carey (Carey and Russell, 2021).
My working identity was shaped by relationships with my managers and peers. When becoming a supervisor, my personal work relied on learning from my managers and how my peers coped. The concept of re-membering through narrative practice works to build identity and gives our lives a membership aspect. How I interacted with my peers at work influenced the ways in which I see others and myself.
“By encouraging the recollection of significant, forgotten details, it seeks to generate more nuanced accounts of people’s lives, enabling them to consider wider ranges of possibilities for the future”. – Michael White (White, 2021).
In recollecting and re-membering my supervising introductory experience, in the future I can learn to react better in new and fresh situations. As I remember this story, I can take this nuanced account and apply it in inevitable future experiences such as: going for my first job interview at a big company or interviewing a famous talent.
Narrative practices introduced by Myerhoff and White have constructed valuable tools which allow us to reflect and thus reinvigorate our lives. Practices such as storytelling are key in positively formulating a successful future where people can learn from mistakes and build on achievements.
For my first pitch review I will be analysing Frank Tremain’s project, ‘Mori Boys.’ Frank’s project this semester has been altered from hip-hop journalism to the creation of his own personal clothing brand. By creating ‘Mori Boys’ Frank wants to contribute to a hip-hop based clothing scene as there is a current lack of it in Australia. This project will look to correspond with his previous journalism work as he wants to work with Australian hip-hop artists who he has previously worked with. The project is based on his own website and promoted through his Instagram page.
Frank presented his idea clearly with good referencing to the pitch format by identifying his overall concept, methodology and utility. The pitch in general could’ve been enhanced with visual content and evidence of his previous and current journalistic work. As well as this, incorporating subject references and readings could’ve worked to show the connection between the project and the subject.
Frank identified two problems which contributed to starting this project. The first problem was the low amount of revenue which hip-hop artists receive which has been lost during this COVID-19 pandemic. The second problem was the lack of merchandise in the hip-hop industry. The DA works to improve and better both problems as it gives artists a way to promote and monetise their content through the development of a clothing brand.
By basing your DA on multiple platforms, it gives the ability to receive a larger following and make your project flexible. By creating a clear aesthetic over each platform gives your artefact a sense of identity, a theme that followers can look out for. The long term goal of releasing a collection by the end of the semester allows for you to plan a clear method in which will achieve your goal. It also allows the ability to prototype content to see if your methods could work again for another future collection.
Finally, the utility of this project is clearly conveyed. Hip-hop as you said is a significantly relevant industry now and it is a perfect time to expand in the industry. Taking inspiration from other Australian clothing brands allows Frank to take a similar approach to his brand. Overall Frank’s project idea is an extremely relevant concept and is clearly planned out for short- and long-term success.
This a great project which has potential as a pretty unique concept in the field of hip-hop. It’ll be interesting to see how Frank does with the marketing and production aspects, therefore I am looking forward to the progress of this idea in the Beta video.
Peer Review 2: ‘Foreign Footy’ – Leo Twemlow
My second pitch review is Leo Twemlow’s project, ‘Foreign Footy.’ ‘Foreign Footy’ will be a video essay and blog post collaboration on the sport of rugby league in America. With little to no exposure of the sport, Leo will aim to shine a light on rugby league on both the international ad American stage.
Through watching Leo’s pitch video, I am intrigued to see where he will take it. Due to Leo’s great knowledge and understanding of the sport of rugby league, the pitch is engaging and you can truly tell that Leo will put time and effort into making the project worth while. He uses the pitch format to create an ingenious pitch idea which will aim to raise awareness of the sport of rugby league, being so similar to popular contact sports in the USA.
Overall providing a product timeline to show that he has already got a plan in mind, as well as the use of the FIST principle, shows that Leo is adhering to subject references.
Leo clearly conveys his project concept through listing the core components of it in the opening part of the pitch. Important to note under the ‘background’ subheading that Leo has a clear knowledge of the sport of rugby league and therefore already understands the context and current state of the sport. A clear problem is stated and justified with a solution to fix such problem over the course of the semester. Expanding a sport with such a small scale of popularity is an idea, if well executed, which can have large ramifications on an international level.
Leo plans to create video essays and distribute these videos to niche sub reddits raising awareness of the sport. As stated in the pitch, Reddit is a great platform for growth, especially with such a niche project idea. This is something which I may look at changing about my DA in effort to make it a multi-platform project. Accumulating his results in a blog each week can allow for reflection on what is working and what needs to be changed. Displaying his results into a platform such as blog website can provoke feedback from his audience and even members of the American audience.
Based on statistics and data provided in the pitch, Leo’s DA is relevant and has the ability to create change in the American sporting market. Due to America’s population, the sport of Rugby League has the potential to slide into the American sporting scene and compete with a similar sports league in NFL.
Personally I cannot think of many key weaknesses of this project as it does have the opportunity for growth and development in a niche market. I would advise, if Leo hasn’t already, having a look at previous research in the field of American rugby league and locating any important sources of information which can benefit his own work.
My name is James Muggeridge and for BCM302 this semester I will be starting a fresh project called ‘Mugg Sport’. Mugg Sport is a personal portfolio platform where I will share sports articles trying to raise awareness and promote the positive contributions which athletes are having off the field. My project content is currently displayed on my on personal website and is promoted on my Instagram page. Looking into the future, I definitely see potential to expand to other social media platforms.
In creating this project, I intend to fix my problem of not writing enough stories and being unmotivated to do so. The ability to do this project gives me a reason to produce content which will work to increase my portfolio. My goals for this semester hand in hand work to fix and manage my problems. Long term I would like to increase my following and online presence.
At the early stages of this artefact, I have posted three posts. One post was dedicated to refreshing my followers on the new project which I would be pursuing. The second post was a teaser to provide context into my first article. The third post worked to promote my first article on the page. All in all, I tried to use the FIST principle to provide myself with a clear direction with the future of the project. It as well worked to see if my audience would understand and like the direction which I was taking.
The idea of using the FIST principle in the early stages of my project appeals to Dan Ward’s ‘Simplicity Cycle’ as posting three posts provides a foundation for the future progression of the DA. Receiving valuable feedback proves that the foundation which I laid has proven to seek attention from my audience and is something which I can continue throughout.
The concept behind this project is to shine light towards athletes contributing off the field. My first story looked at one of the most influential footballers in the world. Marcus Rashford received an MBE for his work campaigning for child food poverty during the COVID-19 lockdown period in 2020. This is just an example of the types of stories I will aiming to raise attention towards.
My methodology with this project will consist of posting a story each week. This story post will be attributed with another post providing context behind the story. As well as this I will post other journalistic work such as podcasts or videos in an aim to differentiate my content. I do not have a “niche sport” in which I will keep myself to, however, will aim to cover as many sports as possible to show off my flexibility and promote as many different athletes as possible. This idea may hinder my ability to get a confined audience, yet it is something which I can monitor as I move towards the beta stage of my project.
My project is inspired by Instagram pages such as Bloke in a Bar, Bleacher Report and Scouted Football, I aim to create a page which is both aesthetically pleasing and informative to a sports watching audience. My content will be relevant as I will write stories which are timely and thus up-to-date.
Here are my links if you would like to support my project.
My name is James Muggeridge and I am a third year student studying Communications and Media with a major in Journalism and a minor in Social Media studies. My future work aspirations are pretty broad currently with aspiration to work in sports journalism, podcasting, photography and videography.
Where does the skill of leadership stem from in my life?
Growing up, I have always been intrigued and drawn towards the idea of leading a group. I have played sports throughout my life which have demanded the need for an individual to lead and manage a group of people. In both cricket and soccer I have acted as a captain/leader and in doing this has promoted the want for a career in which I can carry the same principles.
Straying away from sports and recreation, I have also enjoyed the idea of leading a friend group in planning holidays or picking what we do on a Friday night.
How is leadership incorporated into my current paid work?
I work as a casual at Kmart where I have pursued leaderships roles such as managing and supervising the decant team. This is personally beneficial as it means I can take the reigns and carry out procedures at a higher-skilled level. My job first of all entails the need to make sure the decant team is working to the companies standards, as well as offloading stock and unloading stock from external companies such as Australia Post and Allies.
When starting my casual career at Kmart I was shifted around to different apartments, learning from my managers in each sector. This is what I believe is important about leadership. I feel like I have chosen to learn from managers and pick apart what they do well and what they don’t. This is how I have shaped and formed an ideal ‘leader’ which I have become today.
For my digital artefact for BCM325, I decided to look at sports technology, and in particular, the future of sports technology. At its current state, technology in sport can be both beneficial and controversial. Over the years we have seen the innovation of technologies which can give a quick and concise readings on a player’s health, as well as having the ability to foresee any health challenges which may be negatives towards a player’s future. However, we have also seen the negative impact reviewing systems have had on the overall atmosphere and beauty of our sports. For my project I refined my artefact to specify the impact that the video assistant referee has had on the game of football.
FUTURE MEDIA INFLUENCE
In predicting the future, I incorporated theories and learnings from the future media topic. With reference to screenings, I linked my project with films such as Metropolis and Blade Runner which similarly looked at social division. VAR as a correction system in football has been a hot topic for discussion, bringing upon differing opinions and ideas behind it. Thus, it has divided fans on whether the implementation of the technology is improving the game.
Furthermore, while incorporating the futures DA challenge, I based my prediction on Wendell Bell’s elements of future media. To incorporate Bell’s theory, I looked at the past and present of the VAR system which assisted in shaping my future prediction. I also looked at a desirable future and a future without intervention (a future with technology and no change).
Wendell Bell’s elements of future media:
Analysis and interpretation of the recent past and present;
Projections of future developments with and without interventions;
Descriptions of possible alternative actions and possible futures;
Evaluation of Desirability of Alternative Futures;
Selection of Specific Policies to Implement for Desirable futures.
Additional background sources which helped shape my project prediction included a scholarly text named ‘More decision-aid technology in sport? An analysis of football supporters’ perceptions on goal-line technology.’ This gave me an idea on how technological innovations have been received throughout football’s extensive fanbase.
Further sources included data found from websites such as ‘BBC’ and ‘Statista’ which provided evidence into how fans feel about the VAR. An article by Varsity provided a subjective opinion of the future of football with reference to external factors such as technology and financial influencers.
Audience engagement on Twitter assisted is redefining my project. Asking as to whether I should provide a whole view of technology in sport or a niche view of technology football, allowed me to alter my project overall.
However, when promoting my first post I did not receive any beneficial comments. Looking back at my project’s progression, distributing my project over more platforms would have gained an increase in audience engagement.
My project was on the future of sports technology. My original idea was to look at technology in sport on a well-rounded basis, however through contacting my twitter audience, I realised that I needed to make my project much more of a niche artefact. In my second blog I decided to reinvent my artefact and focus on the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) in football. My second blog involved the issues of VAR and showed evidence that the system is ruining rather than improving the game of football. In my third blog I looked at what football will look like in five years’ time.
In concluding my BCM325 digital artefact, I’m proud of what I have created as it reflects my own knowledge of football incorporated with learnings from the future media study.
Presents a projected view of what the future of football looks like
For my project I have looked at the current state of technology in sport and in particular, the current state of the video replay system in football. Introduced in 2016, the ‘VAR’ (Video Assistant Referee) was implemented to ensure correct decisions were made. However, because of its implementation, it has brought upon a sense of confusion and longer stoppages in play. Fans are unable to celebrate goals until the VAR has checked it and therefore has had an impact on the overall atmosphere at football games. The implementation of VAR is affecting the beauty of the game, however, it is also affecting the decisions being made.
In BBC’s poll which questioned whether the VAR system was improving or ruining the game, 40% of fans answered that the referee system was making football worse. Whilst this provides an accurate glimpse on how the VAR system has been received in Britain, the VAR system has been proven to have increased the correct decisions being made. So, what will football look like in five years’ time? Will there be VAR? Or is it a piece of technology that is inevitably here to stay?
VAR IS HERE TO STAY
Through studying the media futures subject I have realised that technology is most definitely here to stay. Science Fiction films which study future media predict that technology will be a part of our near and great future, whether it has negative or positive effects towards it. Social effects of technology is seen in films such as Metropolis and Blade Runner. This can connect to the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as the introduction of the piece of technology has socially divided fans as to whether it is improving or ruining the game. However, as the VAR has been proven to correct more decisions than not, I believe the VAR will remain in the game. Yet this doesn’t mean that the system can be altered and corrected to end all negatives promoted by it.
Using Wendell’s Bell’s elements of future studies, I believe that I can present a projection of the short term future of football as well as possible alternative actions and desirable futures which may come to fruition.
RECENT PAST AND PRESENT STATE OF VAR
In my last blog I provided a summary of the issues of the video assistant referee system in football. Since it’s implementation, issues have arisen from longer and more stoppages in plays, incorrect decisions and increased confusion. I analysed these issues and provided evidence from statistics and fan polls as to why these issues were so significant within football’s fan base. When interpreting the current and past state of the VAR, It’s hard not to make the conclusion that fans believe that it’s ruining rather than improving the game of football.
FUTURE PROJECTION WITHOUT INTERVENTION
With the current reality of football, technology and in particular the ‘VAR’ has created controversy. It has been a significant point of discussion since its implementation, and without intervention, will only continue towards the future. A projected future with the current state of VAR as a system aiming to correct mistakes made in football, is a tumultuous future full of confusion and irritation. As fans, we will have to get used to the fact that football headlines will be directed towards VAR mistakes rather than who scored and who played well. We will lose the overall beauty of football and FIFA will continue to spend money towards new technologies aiming to correct the technologies and softwares already implemented.
By implementing the VAR and the softwares which come with it, we have gotten rid of football’s imperfections. Referees have been undermined by match officials who are now reviewing most referee decisions on the field. Yes, correct decisions are being made, however, such imperfections which have been negated, are an aspect of football that we have learnt to love and get used to. A future without technology will allow for football to regain its beauty and will also allow for referees to regain their freedom.
Fans will also be able to watch football without confusion or the possibility to be bothered by any stoppages. This will only make football more attractive to watch and will make it much more popular.
Players will also play with more freedom. With the current nature of the game, legends such as Ronaldo and Messi will diminish. This is an audacious statement to make, however, players of this generation are seemed to be chained by the shackles of technology. Great goals and offsides are being corrected by the shortest of margins. Players simply don’t have the same amount of freedom as they did ten years ago and this will effect the ability for football to produce amazing talent.
On the other hand, as VAR has proven to make more correct decisions, there would be an influx of incorrect decisions being made. There also may be conflict as to whether the game needs technology back. Footballs fans will have to decide whether they would prefer correct decisions being made or the beautiful game back to full form with the possibility of an incorrect decision now and then.
FUTURE PROJECTION WITH INTERVENTION
Due to the implication of the VAR system, speculation towards whether the system is valid and needed is high. Yet, technology will be a key part of our future, not only with how we live our lives, but how we consume our entertainment. My projected short term future involves VAR as a key part of football, even with my comments made above about how it is ruining the beauty of the game.
I do believe there are ways in which football can regain its beauty by alternating the way in which technology identifies mistakes made on the field. Intervention of the VAR can bring a halt to the negatives which are currently at the peak of our game.
PODCAST ON THE TOPIC:
FIFA is already looking to alternate the offside ruling with an automated offside technology which will give an automated and quick ruling of any offside player. Former Arsenal coach and now FIFA’s head of football development, Arsene Wenger, has told the media that FIFA have experimented with automated offside rulings recently and will look to implement this technology in next year’s 2022 world cup. This in itself shows that FIFA is already looking for ways to better current technologies being used.
It is a positive that change is starting to happen. It’s obvious that a large consensus of players, coaches and fans are unhappy with the current use of the VAR system.
OVERALL FIVE YEAR PREDICTION
As said above, I see no option for FIFA and football to withdraw from their current view and use of technology. With the world continuing to change and evolve with technology, sport will be no different. However, as FIFA looks to upgrade the current technology, a positive future for players, coaches and fans can be foreseen. I do not speak for any external factors to technology including football’s economic factors and social factors, however, in regards to football’s future with technology, I see it being utilised into the short term future.
As a fan, I am excited to see what the future of football has for us. A game which we love and show great passion for will always be popular around the world.