Winners don't care what they wear

Newspapers disregard sport at their own peril, particularly in Australia, the most "sport mad" nation in the world.

This was the considered opinion of the respected journalist-editor and author Rohan Rivett, and he was prepared to compare reader news values in Australia against other nations.

In America, he said, crime came first, followed by sex and then sport. In Britain, the Fleet Street newspapers were expected to put sex first, followed by crime and sport. But in Australia, he believed the order was sport, then crime with sex last.

No matter that he was speaking 70 years ago as the editor of an afternoon newspaper in Adelaide – today there would be little argument that most Australians would place sport above the other two categories, and probably a few more of the "serious" ones.

Sport has been covered in the Herald since its birth in 1831, but not always with the prominence it got from 1977 when a redesign gave it a home of its own on the back of the second section of the paper. From next week, in the new weekday compact format, its stocks will go up even further when it moves to the back of the one-book production.

Today's page includes a Test cricket photograph produced from a glass negative. It was taken in Melbourne in 1937 by Herald photographer Herbert Fishwick who, tired of taking pictures of dots in the distance, had special lenses ground for a barrel-like extension on his camera. He shot from high in the stands to remove background clutter, and the results caused a sensation in other newspapers. His emulators, with their cannon-like lenses, have become a regular sight at all big sporting events. The marks on the photograph are his suggestion for the most effective crop for publication.

Herald sport photographers down the years have won international and national awards. At least two of the photographs have reached iconic status: Russell McPhedran's exclusive shot of a hooded terrorist during an attack on athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and John O'Gready's picture of mud-covered opponents, Norm Provan and Arthur Summons, coming together at the end of the 1963 rugby league grand final.

The story Winners don't care what they wear first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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