The fourth estate. Football coverage has increased exponentially that even in a year without football we’ve now got two Footy Classifieds and the Herald Sun’s never had this many footy writers. They’re all multi-platform and too some brands upon themselves. Big field, but who reigns supreme?

Honourable/dishonourable mentions

A clarifier, we’re not picking football media identities, we’re targetting the journos only. Usually print but some are purely tv and/or radio as well.

Such as Mark Stevens, he is now Chiefy chief chief for Channel Seven News, but other than the prime time bulletins where he’ll do a live piece to camera, we’re not getting much out of Stevo. Former Herald Sun journo now just another face to cross to, live in the field.

Caroline Wilson is a bit stiff as, like her or lump her, her journalism was never in question. She has made a few blues along the way but get’s an awful lot right and is enormously connected. As is Tony Jones, not just a news presenter but a sports journo first and foremost, often the first questioner at a decent presser.

Then Jon Ralph, probably would be 11th on this list, but either gets too much wrong or mixes reporting facts, or a story, with his opinion. We’re better than that here on GS, so come on Jon. But TV execs love him for this Fox Footy work, and he isn’t too bad there to be fair.

Alright then.

10. Jay Clark (Herald Sun, Triple M)

Got some go and spunk does little Jay-Z Clark. Goes good on the radio, gets decent oil and a good yarn, and has a long, decent career ahead of him.

9. Michelangelo Rucci (SEN SA, formerly The Advertiser)

Was the Mike Sheahan of Adelaide until just recently, but has continued on by doing Drive for SEN SA. Legend of the craft, and still as connected as any in Adelaide for anything Crows or Power.

8. Tom Browne (Channel Seven, Triple M)

Geez he is busy is our Tommy, but despite his in-your-face mentality and desperation for air time, quite good at his craft. Breaks a few yarns to be fair.

7. Sam Edmund (SEN, formerly the Herald Sun)

Very decent and deserving of top 10. Went very well at the small paper and is now the Chief sports reporter for SEN where I think he will flourish. Gets good mail and goes very well.

6. Sam Landsberger (Herald Sun)

One of the better younger journos, gets very good oil and never gets anything wrong. Very good at the cricket game too but still very adept at the footy yarn, or footy story more so. Great around trade and draft time too, must be said.

5. Mark Robinson (Herald Sun, Fox Footy)

Goes a bit insane some times on the telly, and some yarns aren’t crash hot. But one of the better news breakers in the game is the Chief football writer for the Herald Sun and rightfully in the top 5. Got a tonne of good contacts and more often than not falls on the right side of a story.

4. Tom Morris (Fox Footy)

Under 30 and flying. Presents well on camera but geez can find a story or two. Sneaky good. And, despite his age, not annoying or in the way of the more important footy talent on that station. Going places.

3. Damien Barrett (AFL.com.au, Triple M, Channel Nine)

One of the best newsbreakers in town. No longer at his peak but a well-fancied career and has been at the top for a long time. Bumped down the pecking order at Channel Nine for the guy above him in this list, but for breaking news, you can barely find better.

2. Sam McClure (The Age, 3AW, Channel Nine)

Stiff not be #1. Breaks as many stories as anyone, if not more. Got the comfy gig next to Gerard Healy on 3AW at 6pm now, and because of the Nine-Fairfax marriage he is going to get more time on the telly too. Get’s the best mail of all of them, if we had to nitpick some of his stories just lead to blues, not good yarns. But that’s a nitpick. Very, very good.

1. Jake Niall (The Age)

Can’t fault him. Can break news like McClure or Barrett. Spins an amazing yarn in the written form, far better than the rest. And never stuffs up. Can’t question his method or his choices. The brief stint with Fox Footy wasn’t flash but taking Caro’s mantle as the Chief footy writer for Fairfax is bang on. An out and out star.

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