The North Melbourne vice-captain provided a rare insight into the relationship between footballers and the media during a segment on the AFL Exchange podcast.
“With the media nowadays you see the same ones often and you can choose whether or not you decide to have some sort of friendship with them.
“You can choose to speak to them about their questions and leave it at that. Often the people in the media are a good vehicle for you as a person to get a message out.
“If you can get someone to write the message as you’ve said it, it’s a win for you so you’ve got to see the media as an ally at times.”
Always happy to speak his mind, Petrie expanded on his thoughts, splitting journalists into two separate ‘types’.
“In my opinion there are reporters who want to report the news, the facts and what comes out of your mouth,” he added.
“Then there are those who I call investigative journalists who’ll prod, who’ll do background checks and try to find something on you to further their own name and position within the industry.
“There are a couple of them around who are looking for their own ego to progress themselves; but you stay away from them.”
Questioned on whether players and coaches take criticism too seriously, Petrie was open-minded, understanding the importance of media coverage.
“We don’t need to live in a world where every single story written about a footballer needs to be nice.
“If a player has been a dill, not playing well – report it. You can easily laugh off a question…smile and be a bit happier maybe.”
North Melbourne is considered one of the most innovative clubs in the league, making its players regularly accessible to media outlets.