The Data Game

The Data Game

Journalism students are combining their reporting skills and love of footy to produce the AFL’s latest online show.

A collaboration between RMIT, McGuire Media’s JAMTV, official AFL statisticians Champion Data and the AFL, The Data Game analyses the latest league statistics to provide deeper insight into player and team performance.

The show is filmed and edited by Certificate IV in Screen and Media students and written by Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) students and hosted by Hawthorn star and Carlton’s AFLW team senior coach Daniel Harford and Champion Data’s Daniel Hoyne.

RMIT Journalism students Cono Morrissey. James Cusack and Zac Standish finalise scripts on set of The Data Game RMIT Journalism students Cono Morrissey. James Cusack and Zac Standish finalise scripts on set of The Data Game

Broadcast Journalism Industry Fellow and lecturer Phil Kafcaloudes, who is providing support throughout the project, said the experience was a remarkable way for students to complete their final year.

“This experience not only provides exceptional hands-on learning for our students, but combines the skills of writing, data analysis and broadcasting with a subject they love: footy,” Kafcaloudes said.

For student writers – and AFL fans – James Cusack, Conor Morrissey and Zac Standish, working on The Data Game has honed their broadcast skills.

Standish said working on this project had given him invaluable experience.

“I’ve also made great contacts in the industry and seeing my work up on is pretty special.”

To prepare for each show, the students receive the latest AFL statistics from Champion Data, analysing and compiling them into episodes.

They write each three-minute episode on Tuesday nights, using data from the previous weekend’s games and the upcoming match previews, and then work with JAMTV to refine them for filming the following day.

On filming days, the students come together with Harford and JAMTV producers Jay Mueller and David Hoyne to record the weekly episodes for the AFL website.

Morrissey said working on the show has expanded his idea of what his future career in journalism could look like.

“It’s incredible to write scripts for Harford and Hoyne and see how they make them work. They’re so skilled on camera, real seasoned media professionals,” Morrissey said.

“At the start of the course I wanted to go into sports writing, but experiences like The Data Game have opened my eyes to so many other opportunities in broadcasting. I would be confident and happy to pursue different opportunities thanks to this course.”

With the Grand Final this weekend, the team will produce their final episodes, reviewing the game and each team’s performance, as well as how the league is placed for the 2020 season.

Standish said after successfully completing their work on The Data Game and finishing up his final year, he was keen to see what’s next.

“After this experience, I feel really confident going for a job. The Data Game has taught me so much and really cemented what I want to do,” Standish said.

“This opportunity Phil coordinated for us has put us on the front foot for our future careers,”

The Data Game is set to expand beyond the 2019 AFL season, covering the trade period, 2020 Draft, AFLW and AFL Fantasy league.

It can be viewed every week on


Story: Alicia Olive


  • Sport
  • Student experience
  • Media & Communication

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