Yesterday morning, pictures emerged of Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey playing a full part in first-team training, putting to bed rumours of a serious injury that appear to have been started by TalkSPORT.
The national radio station have become synonymous with sensationalist “journalism” in the pursuit of listeners over the years, a stereotype that fits perfectly into their approach to what is a blatant lie regarding Wayne Hennessey’s fitness.
As you can see from the tweet attached above, they were more than happy to report that Wayne had been involved in a “freak accident” involving his left foot and even had the front to claim that he had “ruptured his Achilles’ tendon” all of which has since proven to be completely and utterly false. I dare say organisations of their size get tip-offs like this dozens of times a day but to go ahead and report it live on air without first confirming it with an official source flies in the face of every journalistic principle known to man.
Predictably, the “news” sent Palace fans everywhere into a panic, given the fact that we currently have no back-up option beyond 20-year-old Dion-Curtis Henry, not that we had any real reason to worry.
There appears to have also been a suggestion thrown in that the Wales’ number one would definitely miss this Sunday’s game against Tottenham, a line which was evidently plucked from thin air to create hysteria amongst listeners with absolutely no care whatsoever for the facts of the matter.
Given our already serious injury problems, such irresponsible reporting from a nationwide media outlet really does frustrate me, particularly when it’s clearly guaranteed to cause panic. The fact that they even saw fit to ask for a comment on the matter from former Palace chairman Simon Jordan shows that the people behind the scenes at TalkSPORT have no concerns about the credibility of their voice going forward, preferring instead to occupy the role of “audio clickbait” (yes, I’ve just made that up) within the confines of the national sporting discussion.
It seems as though Hennessey will be fine to face Spurs on Sunday barring any knocks in training today but even so, I felt compelled to highlight the ridiculous nature of TalkSPORT’s journalistic practices this morning, in the forlorn hope that one day, they might realise the error of their ways and start taking a responsible approach to the stories they spew onto the airwaves from day to day.
I won’t hold my breath.