AS A mother of a footballer and a supporter of football and netball in this region, I was dismayed to read the leading story on the front and back page of the Bendigo Advertiser on Saturday.
Describing the signing of Stephen Milne as a coup for the city was sensationalist journalism and flies in the face of the significant community support for preventative action to protect women from violence.
The securing of the Royal Academy of Arts London Exhibition is certainly a major coup for Bendigo and this should have been given sole coverage on the front page.
Yes, Stephen Milne is a very good footballer and will attract people to Strathfieldsaye games however he has been charged with serious sexual assault.
Yes, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty however sensationalising his signing I believe was in poor taste.
The pending charges were very much overlooked in the article and obviously by the Strathfieldsaye Football Netball Club which possibly forwarded the photo and press release.
The Strathfieldsaye coach saying that the signing of this player can “help get the Bendigo footy league back on the map” is also insensitive to the many women involved in football and the readership of this newspaper.
The Bendigo Advertiser badly needs to lift the professionalism of their reporting.
While some may believe that all publicity is good publicity, I do not believe this is helpful to the BFNL.
While I am a member of the BFNL board, these are my personal views, however, I believe the league and clubs have been working very hard to make football and netball attractive to families and a significant number of supporters and volunteers are women.
Dr Carol McKinstry