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