INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rank Photographers And Rankin's Cleavage

Published: Mon 9 Jul 2001 12:43 AM
It's ironic that some of our nation's sports photographers (and their editors) are acting like pimply 13 year olds in the same week that various news media have displayed their distaste about the treatment of ex CEO of the Department of Work and Income, Christine Rankin, as a 'sexual icon'.
It was such a relief, some years ago now, when finally, sports camera men filming the cricket gave up spending the breaks in play by searching out 'tits and ass' in the audience at our great sporting arenas, and started displaying a little respect and brainpower. Finally it had dawned on the Cricket Association of the day that the sport's survival lay in becoming a game for all the family.
The women I hung out with became enthusiastic about attending cricket matches again without the discomfort of being perved at by drunken louts in the terraces indulging in the activity reinforced by the media of the day. And at home we could finally enjoy watching the game without giving up after feeling angry or embarassed at the pathetic perviness of sweaty little camera men.
So it's disappointing to see these juvenile attitudes creeping back into the photos of one of our national dailies, the Dominion. Especially in the same week that people, including editors, are expressing their disgust at personal remarks made about the way a CEO choses to dress.
The photos of women tennis players, one on the front of the Dominion during the week and one in the sports section on Saturday threw me back to the anger that I'd hoped could be left behind in bygone days of rather purile perving by photographers in our national media.
I really can't believe that throughout the various games of tennis played that the 'best' action shots available of these talented and professional sports women were a) one of female player walking away from the camera, trying to adjust her nickers and revealing her bottom in the process, and b) one of another female player with her knees bent and spread and skirt raised in the wind revealing a full frontal of her crotch (and before you go searching for it kids, she did have her nickers on!). I couldn't find a single equivalent among the photos of male sportsmen this week.
I'll concede that it's pretty clear that athletic bods are popular, even with me. But we really don't need to perve up people's shorts to enjoy the game.
Most readers in today's world expect a national daily newspaper to approach their subjects with respect and maturity. Those photos showed neither respect nor maturity. The photographers and editors involved might be more suited to a job with 'Big Brother Uncut' or a 'lads' magazine where at least the subjects have consented to their vivid exposure and the audience has deliberately chosen the experience.
Those of us simply trying to keep up with the daily news shouldn't have to put up with it.

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