Heard of Jeff Daniels from News Room? We Have One, Too! by Football Tribe Malaysia

by Keeshaanan Sundaresan, Chief Editor of Football Tribe Malaysia

There’s a certain ounce of expectation you build about journalism, prior to entering the field. Years of romanticizing, or even fetishizing the various rigor of actually being a journalist, working in a newsroom, banking on collaborations, exhausting private sources - but there’s always a gulf between reality and expectation.

 For some, especially so, given the context of what we’ve been rapidly observing in the world of media. Journalists or content creators? It’s easy to argue the extremes but Football Tribe is an outlet that’s choosing to focus on the grey area. Maybe just maybe, journalism doesn’t need to be binary.

 Cesare Polenghi is the man who seeks to balance this out in Football Tribe. He’s rarely asleep (some say due to Pogba Withdrawal Syndrome), constantly refreshes the homepage of Gazetta dello Sport, posts B&W photos of Japanese sceneries on Facebook and always, always finds a way to slip in a reference to The Beatles (Who are they anyway?). So it’s safe to say that when Cesare spoke to me about an opportunity to join the Tribe, the discussion was always going to have a positive outcome.

The Newsroom is one my favourite TV shows to have ever been made and you can call me biased because a large chunk of my fascination for it stems from the fact that it’s about journalism. And the one aspect that has always caught my attention is the sheer chaos that ensues in a newsroom every single time news breaks.

 Take the first episode for example. The reaction to the BP Oil Spill breaks, is almost like that of an orchestra. Yes, it’s a TV show. But how different can that scene be from reality, especially on the night of El Clasico or a Champions League final?

 From my limited experiences of being in the industry for about five years, I’ve come to realise that the newsroom experience cannot be fabricated. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum either. It has to be instigated by a head honcho, whose passion, desire and drive must be trickled down to other members of the battalion. That’s what Cesare does the best, even if some might call him delusional for rating Miralem Pjanic so highly.

 With a team of over 50 people based in different parts of Asia, Cesare has played a pivotal role in building a virtual newsroom that operates very systematically in breaking, formulating and producing stories for millions of readers across Asia. And it’s also a newsroom that refuses to be held hostage by the extremes of traditional media and new media. It aspires to be a middle ground. Or ‘the’ middle ground, I should say.

 That’s essential to the growth of football in Asia. Football-wise, Asia continues to lag behind your traditional superpowers in Europe and South America. But coverage-wise, we have the opportunity to take it up a notch and make an attempt at levelling the playing field. With 10 editions across Asia being launched in 2017, Football Tribe has taken gigantic steps towards making that attempt. And with our own Jeff Daniels in Cesare, it’s only set to grow bigger in 2018. 

Feel the Passion


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