Rupert Murdoch would have you believe that he was ashamed, but not responsible for the phone hacking scandal at News of the World.
I’m not in a position to judge the News Corp chief executive on how much he knew. All I know is that the scandal broke under his watch and the rest of the media could very well take a backlash in respect to ethics and credibility.
Most of the keyboard-tapping scribes that I know inside and outside of golf wouldn’t have a clue about how to hack somebody’s phone or e-mail, at least to my knowledge, but we’re in an era in which the media is already under scrutiny.
Anybody with a computer can be a blogger nowadays and many websites that don’t want to work or invest in editorial rely solely on press releases to populate their sites, often skewing the message in favour of the company or individual that sends those releases .
The challenges facing newspapers are well-documented and with dwindling ad revenues, the investment in the product gets smaller and smaller with the same expectations while operating in a competitive business, so it may have been that pressure that caused this sordid scandal, but that doesn’t make it right.
It also doesn’t make it right that media people who do their jobs above board might be tainted by this scandal, but in the court of public opinion, nobody really cares what’s fair.
We could go on and on about the challenges facing media and the fact that if Murdoch didn’t know about what was going on, he should have if he had any interest in that side of his business, which most corporate types don’t.
This is a golf website and many industry types are facing the same types of misconception as those within the media.
The following popular opinions may or may not be true depending on which golf course you’re talking about:
- Golf is for rich guys, even though we all have female and blue collar friends who love the game,
- Golf is too expensive, although golfers can usually find a course with less-expensive green fees within a short drive of the high end types and private clubs.
- Golf is not family-friendly. Don’t we all know people such as Sam Young in Sheldburne, Ont., or Jeff Chambers in Saskatoon who devote themselves to junior golf?
There’s no denying that each of the three statements above are definitely true, but not absolutely true.
Within the industry, we can come up with examples of people and places who project a different image of the game, but what we think within the industry doesn’t really matter unless consumers and potential customers start seeing a different side of golf.
That underscores the important of individual operations and people marketing their products/services in their particular markets, which they should know better than anybody. There are many positive sides to golf that people we’re trying to lure into it don’t get to see.
However, it’s tough to shake the preconceived opinions once they’re set in people’s minds, whether it be media or the golf industry. Going forward, there are massive obstacles facing those trying to change an image of the industry in which they work. That takes commitment on top of countless duties.
Of course, it isn’t fair, but when it comes to public opinion, nobody cares what’s fair and they’re certainly not going to look for a reason that proves them wrong.