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Time to do away with post-match press conferences says ex-editor

IanSavageA former regional daily editor has suggested it is time to do away post-match press conferences at sporting events.

Ian Savage, who edited the Bolton News between 2008 and 2018, has questioned the merit of such conferences in a column for his old newspaper.

Ian says he has become “convinced that there is little value in press conferences held minutes after a match in any sport” after watching recent coverage of tennis from Wimbledon.

His comments follow the controversy over British women’s No 1 Jo Konta who accused a national newspaper journalist of patronising her and picking on her in a post-match presser after her quarter-final defeat to Barbora Strycova.

The reporter, from the Daily Express, questioned whether Ms Konta “could have done better”, to which she responded: “Is that in your professional tennis opinion?”

In his column, Ian wrote: “In my view, neither covered themselves in glory. The reporter was right to question her performance, but his phraseology was clumsy and goading rather than straight down the line.

“However, Konta’s response was childish. It’s ridiculous to imply that because a reporter hasn’t played a particular sport professionally, they don’t have the right to ask tough questions.

“Those difficult questions invariably come when someone has lost or played badly and as press conferences are held straight after the match, what do we really expect from players who are often furious with their own performance?

In his column, Ian said the press conferences usually fall into one of three categories: “bland and anodyne; brief, polite and curt; or spiky with barbed exchanges between interviewer and interviewee.”

He added: “Perhaps it’s time to do away with post-match press conferences, or at least hold them a little while afterwards to give players time to calm down and gather their thoughts?”

However when asked for its views on the matter by HTFP, the Sports Journalists Association poured cold water on Ian’s suggestion.

“It’s a fascinating debate but the SJA can’t see post match press conferences being ditched any time soon,” said a spokesperson.


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  • July 18, 2019 at 10:24 am

    some of the stuff they get asked is cringe-making, especially after Premiership football. eg HOW (the magic word) disappointing was that? (they just lost 6-0).
    Frankly all the hacks are waiting for is an outburst or sensational comment. I wouldn’t miss them if there wasn’t another one. After all, we have all watched the game/match. That’s all that really matters.

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  • July 18, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Scores of regional football journalists must be cringing at the thought of post match press conferences being scrapped – it’s 50 per cent of their work load!
    They wouldn’t have an earthly what to write about in its place.
    They sit there at conferences as though the manager/player is to send down some Holy Writ. Instead, it’s usually space filling drivel.

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  • July 18, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    northender. You can tell that most players and managers loathe these pointless interviews. Again, it’s all to do with money. TV runs premiership football and it demands as part of its contracts that some poor sucker has to endure interviews. And right after the game is the wrong time. As for press conferences , without them a lot of sports hacks would have to go out and find some real stories instead of waffle.

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  • July 18, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Best post match conference question I’ve ever heard.

    Journalist to Gordon Strachan “Could we have a quick word Gordon?”

    Strachan – “Aye, Velocity.!”

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