Sports Journalists as Contemporary Historians:
A panel discussion with Greg Baum and Gideon Haigh facilitated by Warwick Hadfield.
The Alfred Deakin Research Institute (ADRI) and Deakin University’s Contemporary Histories Research Group are proud to present two of Australia’s most respected sports journalists Greg Baum and Gideon Haigh reflecting on their leading contributions to the writing of contemporary sports history.
Australia enjoys a strong tradition of journalists and commentators not only reporting and analysing the news but also writing what often serve as the first full-length accounts of contemporary history. While the political sphere has been well-served by prominent figures from Alan Reid and Hugh Lunn to Paul Kelly and George Megalogenis, the world of sport is perhaps the most prolific and popular genre for journalists publishing books. Indeed, many sports journalists wear a second hat as historians to write (or ghost-write) pathbreaking accounts of contemporary history. In doing so, they can fundamentally shape the direction of further scholarship and frame the key issues and arguments in future historiography. The importance of sports journalists, then, lies not just in the stories they uncover and being first to print but also in the ways in which they come to define the contours of debates that follow. Also, unlike historians of the future they often have enjoyed access to “key players” of the time while experiencing events from close quarters. Consequentially, the influential work of sports journalists/historians deserves special consideration by the broader historical profession.
The distinguished sports journalists Greg Baum and Gideon Haigh will discuss their respective contributions to the “first draft of history.” Warwick Hadfield, Deakin University’s Research Promotions and Communications Manager and the Sports Commentator on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program, will act as facilitator. There will be ample Q&A time to allow audience participation.
Greg Baum is Chief Sports Columnist and Associate Editor with The Age. He has authored, co-authored, or co-edited several sports books including Greg Baum The Waugh Era (ABC Books, Sydney, 2004).
Gideon Haigh has three decades of experience as an independent journalist and author. Arguably the world’s pre-eminent cricket writer, his most recent publication is Gideon Haigh On Warne (Penguin, Melbourne, 2012).
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