I know Aussies, especially in the entrepreneurial world, talk a lot about tall poppy syndrome, but has it finally gone too far?
Over the weekend, two home grown Aussies won the biggest motorsport titles in the world, and I mean THE WORLD! The F1 Grand Prix, and the Indy 500. About 350 million people tune in to the Grand Prix each year, and the Indy 500 draws a live crowd of about 300,000. Those are no small numbers. So why doesn’t this hit our mainstream media?
Daniel Ricciardo took home the Monaco Grand Prix win, a seventh career title. The Aussie from Perth is a big time celebrity in the motorsport world, and wins the hearts of all with his huge smile and happy-go-lucky attitude.
On the other hand, Will Power, a humble Aussie from Toowoomba if you know where that is, stormed home on the US track to take his first ever Indianapolis 500 win.
Both these races are world-class motorsport events won by humble Aussies. Why is our mainstream media ignoring it? Maybe they aren’t ignoring it. Maybe they just don’t know? (highly unlikely in this age of social media). Maybe it’s not showing up in our feeds? Is it not important? Why aren’t our big time Aussies put in the spotlight?
Does it have something to do with tall poppy syndrome? Australians are generally pretty bad at ‘celebrating our wins’. Most people probably didn’t know Australians are the inventors of WiFi, the Keep Cup, the polymer bank note, cochlear hearing aids, the world’s first high speed stable catamaran, wine casks (I bet every uni student is proud of this one), the black box flight recorder, first artificial pacemaker, there’s a bunch of other ones, even Google maps was built by an Aussie company in Sydney.
And it’s not just cool inventions we have; there’s also companies. Aussies have built a good number of ‘unicorns’. If you’re not in the business world, a unicorn is a company valued at a billion dollars or more. Here’s some names you might recognise: Carsales, MYOB, REA Group, Atlassian, Envato, Canva, WiseTech Global, and more.
With all these awesome inventions, and epic companies, why are we holding back? Why aren’t we talking about them more? Why aren’t we raising our Aussies up and saying “look what our country has produced”? We need to do more to praise people who have made it big, not cut them down, or discredit them for reaching a goal or pinnacle many of us won’t reach.
Okay, so maybe it isn’t tall poppy syndrome that’s keeping Ricciardo and Power from the spotlight. Is it something else? Maybe our mainstream media doesn’t see motorsport as ‘important’ enough to talk about?
I mean, if you searched the papers and the online publications on Monday, you won’t find anything in the Age, the Herald Sun, or The Australian, on the Indy 500. It was only in the late hours of Monday afternoon was there any news on ABC about it. Ricciardo was a little luckier, with a couple of online articles dedicated to him but nothing in print, and certainly nothing on the online home pages. Oh and these ‘mainstream’ online news publications are pushed way down on Google search results – even in incognito mode!
What’s the solution? Do the papers get up and go cover these stories? Do they go on the front page? Or should we look at what’s going on elsewhere? Motorsport.com, Autosport, WTF1, Indianapolis Star, ESPN, FoxSports, Indy Car – these (and many more) specialty news sites are busting with information, stories, funny pieces, and everything you’d want to know and more.
Is this the way of the future? No more mainstream news? What is the role of mainstream media? Will we simply follow publications of our own interest? Will we subscribe (like we do with TV) to certain articles and particular genres? Will this only reinforce what we want to hear? What do you think will happen, or should happen?
I’m keen to hear from you. With the Future Work Summit only 1 day away, it’s time to wonder – what does your future look like?