Jonah's special media skills

18 November 2015

Jonah Loma was a great example to leading sportspeople about how to express themselves through the media. He was a bit raw when he first played for the All Blacks, but soon developed into an expert in front of the camera.

What was his secret?

He was always himself. People didn’t just like him for his rugby ability, but how he wore his heart on his sleeve. He let us into his life. He shared his feelings with us. He didn’t just answer questions with quick sporting clichés, but shared his emotions with us through the media as if we were part of his family.

Media audiences cry out for this from their heroes. But most sportspeople hide their emotions and personality when it comes to the media. Not Jonah. He was one of the most natural characters sport has ever seen. That’s why we feel so sad at his passing. We feel that we knew him. Not just as a great rugby player, but as a person. There aren’t many people like that and even fewer sportspeople.

Whether after a tough match or talking about his kidney condition, he always had something interesting to say and said it with passion. One example that sticks with me was a time he was asked what it meant to be an All Black. He was so emotional that he couldn’t answer the question with words. But the tears in his eyes said it all.

Jonah obviously had many other traits, particularly his humanitarianism. But it was how he let us into his live that I’ll remember the most. He’ll be missed.

For more on my media training, contact or 029 200 8555.

Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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