Where does one draw the line in revealing information that you may come across? I raise the question following the release on social media of notes Andy Murray used during the recent tournament in Rotterdam.
Like many players Murray had notes with him that he would read on the change of ends; pointers on what to do technically, reminders to himself, just things like that. A Dutch journalist, who doesn’t seem to be a regular on the tennis tour and someone I have never heard of, appears to have photographed the sheet of paper and revealed the ten points on the paper through Twitter.
Was that really necessary?
Granted there was nothing earth shattering on the paper but still in my view that was information of a private nature. What right did this media person have to disclose what was on the paper?
That courtside bench Murray was sitting on is tantamount to his office, that paper was his documentation, if he wanted it revealed he could have chosen to do so. Would this journalist have appreciated it if someone else had seen a story he possibly was working on and then blown the story cover?
It also struck me that this information was disclosed after Murray had lost and the tournament was over. If this journalist felt this was such a scoop and that he was a hero is releasing it, why then did he not put it out before things had finished up in Rotterdam? To me that strikes of being a coward and /or he may have felt there would have been recriminations and his credential withdrawn.
This is not a case of protecting Andy Murray, it is a case of being ethical. At times all of us in the media come across issues that have extra attention grabbing potential but there is a personal responsibility and you must consider the fall out.
Absolutely the public want to know all about their favourite players and what they do and where they go and that all this may be viewed in the public domain, but at the same time are the players also not also entitled to be able to keep some matters close to their chests?
What this Dutch media person in Rotterdam did and revealed served absolutely no purpose; he probably does one or two events in the year and has no concern over what a player might think. Instead he is probably very proud of himself thinking he has opened up some incredibly revealing insight and thinks he is highlighting the fact that he in some sort of investigative journalist. Wrong! In fact he is petty.
The regular, seasoned tennis media, members of the International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA) have been working hard over the last decade or so to bridge what was quite a wide gap between the players and media. Much success has followed but jokers like this help players take a step back.