Living the dream: sports job worth the tough start

Tom Morris
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“There's nowhere to hide on the football field or in any sport. So, you get to know, you get to see what people are truly made of.” Tom Morris, Fox Sports’ senior AFL and cricket reporter, talks to Tom Harris

What was your initial job in journalism?

I got lucky because I was doing a lot of free work for the Northern footy league in 2011. I’d drive out to Montmorency or Heidelberg or anywhere sort of in the Northern suburbs on a Saturday, in the middle of winter. Like looking back on it, it was brutal, unpaid, and I’d write a match report from the game, interview both coaches after the match, go home, write the report and send it in.

Why do you like what you do?

At the Fox Footy office and St Kilda footy club office, when I was there, people were talking, there were balls being thrown around, heaps of stuff going on. I think because of the human interaction and the authenticity of sport, there’s nowhere to hide on the football field or in any sport. So, you get to know, you get to see what people are truly made of.

What would you say is the highlight of your career?

The Sheffield final a couple of years ago, start of 2019, Victoria and New South Wales at Junction Oval. So you’re sitting in the commentary box, you look to one side and it’s Andrew Symonds and you look to the other side and it’s Michael Hussey and Shane Warne … and I’m commentating and working with these guys going like, literally, what am I doing? This is unbelievable. So commentating cricket is the biggest thrill for me.

What are some challenges you’ve faced?

I’ve got a story wrong. About a month ago with Stephen Coniglio. I just got a dud steer. You know, you’re not a celebrity, but you’re in the public limelight, and if you get a story wrong, everyone knows about it. So that was hugely embarrassing. 

What other interests do you have besides sports journalism?

I’m interested in current events. I read the front of the paper and the back of the paper. I’m interested in what’s going on overseas in the USA, and I read about politics. I’m interested in politics, but it’s not a passion. 

How might a young reporter break into it today?

If there’s any cookie cutter approach, and there’s not, but if there is, I think working at a sports club when you’re finishing uni and when you finished uni in a part-time casual or full-time position is absolutely the way to go. One thing that will always be there is sports clubs and they are producing more content for themselves than ever.