The “staggering” aspect of Crows’ camp and why local media need to be “held to account” – Michmutters

The “staggering” aspect of Crows’ camp and why local media need to be “held to account”

The Adelaide football club has been left with a tarnished reputation off the back of details emerging about the infamous 2018 pre-season camp.

However, as well as questions being asked of the club, pressure should be on the South Australian media outlets, according to SEN SA’s Michelangelo Rucci.

Gerard Whateley was the first to question the involvement of the SA media in covering up the details of the Crows’ camp for more than five years.

I have told AFL Nation on Friday night: “They have clearly exploited the advantages of their position in their town. They have been party to a protection racquet and their media has fallen into that and silenced and marginalized any voice that dares go near the truth.”

Rucci acknowledged the strength of those comments and said it was “staggering” that the local media had barely investigated.

The Age published a series of detailed reports on the camp in 2020 but apologized and withdrew them in 2022 following a legal battle with Collective Mind, the business behind the camp.

“They’re incredibly strong remarks, the protection racquet line is quite challenging and it will be challenging to a lot of people in Adelaide, particularly people in senior roles in media organizations who probably put commercial interests ahead of a social responsibility to make sure they were asking the right questions,” he told SEN SA Breakfast.

“Now it is staggering that most of the reports that were done on this camp that have come to be quite accurate and quite meaningful were done in Melbourne and not in Adelaide. I think a lot of people should be asking why.

“Why is it that some media organizations put commercial interests ahead of their responsibility to be news organizations, I’ll be intrigued at how this one goes forward because Gerard has hit on a very strong point here.”

Rucci recalled a similar situation with the West Coast Eagles and the drug-fuelled era, prasing The West Australian journalist Mark Duffield for his reporting.

“There should have been the same thing here in Adelaide (like Duffield with West Coast), it didn’t happen. People should be asking why and they should be challenging some people in media organizations as to whether they are part of a protection racquet that protects the Crows,” he added.

Rucci added it was worth investigating if the club put pressure on media individuals, but said some “need to be held to account”.

“I think the real issue here is they were put under pressure by the Crows to not do the story, or told to lay off because there would be consequences if they continue,” he continued.

“What Gerard said, that people who got close to the story were marginalized, is worth investigating.

“Now comes a time where they need to be held to account for the way they have behaved over the past five years, I’d be surprised if a fair few of them can actually stand up and say, ‘we did our jobs’. ”

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes agreed with Rucci’s sentiment, adding: “there’s no doubt about that.”

“They accepted the spin, they accepted the Adelaide party line and they didn’t do any digging after they were told Adelaide’s version of events without looking into the other version of it.

“There is a lot of media with egg on their faces after the story and a lot of them are crawling back into a hole, embarrassingly so.”

Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins and Bryce Gibbs are the three former Crows who have provided disturbing revelations into the camp.


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