Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Sport
9 August 2016

Where’s Daniel Goodfellow? Newspapers appear to forget how news works

A number of frontpages have been criticised for failing to run pictures of Tom Daley’s diving partner.

By Media Mole

Maybe it’s silly season. Maybe it’s Olympic fever. Or maybe it’s just a momentary lapse of judgement when faced with so many soaking wet sculpted men in tiny knickers. But some of our beloved news outlets seem to have forgotten how news works this summer.

As Britain’s dimple king Tom Daley, his torso and his diving partner Daniel Goodfellow scooped bronze medals in the Rio Olympics’ synchronised diving contest, a few of the front (and back) pages dedicated their main pictures to the former two:


All photos: Twitter/@suttonnick​

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

And even where the papers included pictures of Goodfellow, many dedicated their headlines and copy to Daley over his “synchronised partner”:

Asking “Where’s Daniel Goodfellow?”, the outraged Guardian noted: “Goodfellow has inexplicably been cropped out of some coverage of their win”. And BuzzFeed chimed in, arguing that there are, “many photos that the papers could have chosen that included both of them”.

While your mole has sympathy with Goodfellow’s mother, who called the media coverage “insensitive” – and understands the irony of singling out one winner in a synchronised event – it’s still a little surprised that some publications are so outraged by their fellow papers’ choices of splash.

For various reasons – mainly his background story as the youngest competitor to reach a final in 2008’s Olympics – Daley is just way more famous. And when have newspapers ever favoured non-famous people above selling copies with a nice, big photo of a celebrity on the frontpage?

If there’s anything we should be uncomfortable about, it’s the potential uneasiness of newspapers about publishing an image of two nearly-naked young men embracing.


Photo: Getty

Or perhaps we should be celebrating the willingness of our papers – many of which have repeatedly (and justifiably) been accused of homophobia in the not too distant past – to publish a huge image of a topless, openly gay man on their frontpages.

Anyway, your mole could debate all day about the nature and purpose of news, but it has some more vital picture research to do for this story.