Majority of F1 journalists seem to duck controversy?

Majority of F1 journalists seem to duck controversy?

Author
Discussion

cc3

Original Poster:

1,619 posts

100 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
Compared to political journalists/commentators, F1 journalists/commentators seem to do everything they can to avoid controversy? Other than Ted Kravitz we seem to have most of the journalists and commentators doing their upmost to play down the Red Bull cash-gate scandal.

Why? Because they are not up to the job of asking probing awkward questions like political journalists?

and/or because many are ex racers and are too close to all the teams and Governing bodies and it might impact on their freebies? Dinners, trips round the circuits in cars, a ride out on the yacht, all of course in the line of business ?

If Christian Horner was a senior politician he would have been taken to the cleaners. Watching the press conference the journalists let him off so lightly as have most of the written sports press.

Seems to me reading social media it has been left to the fans to ask the difficult questions, sadly the professionals have let the fans down.

They are being paid a lot of money to basically not rock the boat ?


simon_harris

219 posts

18 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
If they rock the boat then they get kicked out of the party - it really is that simple.

oyster

11,637 posts

232 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
Or perhaps they don't see it as that controversial as they are, in the main, more objective than you or I might be?

simon_harris

219 posts

18 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
oyster said:
Or perhaps they don't see it as that controversial as they are, in the main, more objective than you or I might be?
if large groups of people are disagreeing about something then it is controversial weather the "presenters" agree with it or think it or not.

mat205125

17,055 posts

197 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
They are F1 journalists, and thereby journalists at heart.

Their business is entertainment, and creating sensational stories from whatever they find to work with.

They're not there to objectively report on cold hard facts ...... they tell stories that appeal to their audience, to ultimately further their own success and that of their employers.

Muzzer79

7,256 posts

171 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
cc3 said:
Compared to political journalists/commentators, F1 journalists/commentators seem to do everything they can to avoid controversy? Other than Ted Kravitz we seem to have most of the journalists and commentators doing their upmost to play down the Red Bull cash-gate scandal.

Why? Because they are not up to the job of asking probing awkward questions like political journalists?
Because it's a sport, where people volunteer to enter and 'play'

F1 teams and their employees are not elected by the public - they don't answer to the fan or the journalist interviewing them.

Consequently, if said F1 team doesn't want to answer questions from journalists then they don't have to, or they could answer in a very monosyllabic way.

Journos know this, so they phrase their questions and tone accordingly. It's no different to any other sport.

LukeBrown66

3,182 posts

30 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
It is about looking after your livelihood.

Having been a journalist at one time dealing with motorsport people and especially series orgainsers is very tough the most innocent thing can get them peering over your shoulder asking questions and asking for a story linked to their sport but loosely say being removed. I once reported on a rider who raced occasionally in a series, but was killed not racing in that series, and it was asked to be pulled. There was a link, just that the website only covered one of the series, so you can see how far it goes at times.

PR is as strong as journalism now, and it should not be that way, a proper journalist would report on anything regardless, and he or she should feel able to do so without being rebuffed or banned by that team, unless their story is a falsehood. But most journos cultivate their relationships via PR folk tso spiting them is a bad thing, and you lose say Red Bull and you lose stories.

Schumacher did it to Brunders for years. I saw no issue with what was said either.

entropy

4,957 posts

187 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
I remember Marshall Pruett talked about journalism etiquette not long ago but he used respecting embargoes from Indycar teams as an example. If you upset the team enough they will not give you stories and it will go to someone else and it won't be your own and you will lose out.

On the other hand MotoGP journalist Mat Oxley recently got himself blacklisted from Ducati and has no problem ending up as a dustman. https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/motorc...

Wills2

20,327 posts

159 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
I think it's tough, if you look at Football then they often go to town on them but the dynamic in F1 seems different like a club where they let you in so long as you're a good boy/girl, I believe the Italian press don't hold back on Ferrari either.

The AD scandal should be aimed at the FIA, Toto and Horner were both guilty of laying it on thick and I guess Horner was the last person Masi spoke to hence the decision (and why he had to go as he wasn't up to the job).

Horner's whinging and finger pointing is getting tiresome though and the paddock needs to stand up to him.




Muzzer79

7,256 posts

171 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
Wills2 said:
, I believe the Italian press don't hold back on Ferrari either.
The Italian press don't hold back on Ferrari's performance level. They attack individuals' competency, be that drivers, management, strategists, whatever.

Ferrari are fine with that (within reason) They are the Italian national team.

The real crux of this post however is about challenging claims of cheating and manipulation. That's a different kettle of fish and one that, as a journalist, has to be navigated very carefully.

realjv

1,020 posts

150 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
How many F1 Journalists actually are there? i.e. those who attend every or almost every race, spend the time necessary to build relationships and trust and actually do first hand reporting. Very few I'd bet. The vast majority are remote, watching TV coverage, phoning a few "contacts", whilst regurgitating press releases and one anothers reporting.

TV is an entirely different beast. You are not going to get very many anonymous sources standing in front of a TV camera! That's not to say TV can't be supported by good journalism but when they've paid out a huge pile of money for the right to broadcast the sport their primary interest is going to be getting people to watch and keep watching. Saying that everything is censored or corrupt isn't going to do that.

The question is are there fewer good F1 Journalists now than there was previously or is there just more rubbish, echo chamber noise burying them? It use to be that F1 Journo's would write a column a week/month leaving far more time for stories to be researched, evolve and maybe just die off after turning out to be nothing. Now you've got to almost report in realtime and spin an article out of a single quote/fact as soon as you have it. That makes putting things into a clear context very difficult.

If you come for the king, you best not miss.





Olivera

5,901 posts

223 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
realjv said:
How many F1 Journalists actually are there? i.e. those who attend every or almost every race, spend the time necessary to build relationships and trust and actually do first hand reporting. Very few I'd bet. The vast majority are remote, watching TV coverage, phoning a few "contacts", whilst regurgitating press releases and one anothers reporting.
The counter argument to that is: how many people are paying hard cash towards a professional journalist from a reputable publication to fly around the globe and attend F1? 'Mainstream Media' (pejorative term) investigative journalism is replaced with 'doing my own research at home' journalism.

Hill92

3,691 posts

174 months

Monday 31st October
quotequote all
It's more that political journalism is an unique beast.

F1 journalists deal with 10 teams and the FIA, all of whom are going nowhere. Especially given the current contract set up.

Whereas political journalists deal with 650 MPs, all of whom are ultimately expendable scalps. Furthermore there is a symbiotic relationship between politicians and journalists because politics is ultimately a battle of ideas. Journalists are willing to be agents of politicians to take down the opposition and politicians are willing to give journalists stories.

With sport and business, you're rarely on the offensive in the media. You're focused on marketing and protecting the brand. That changes how you interact with journalists. You want a much more tightly controlled and inoffensive media so you can focus on the real battle on track or in the marketplace.


rallycross

11,899 posts

221 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
realjv said:
How many F1 Journalists actually are there? i.e. those who attend every or almost every race, spend the time necessary to build relationships and trust and actually do first hand reporting. Very few I'd bet. The vast majority are remote, watching TV coverage, phoning a few "contacts", whilst regurgitating press releases and one anothers reporting.

TV is an entirely different beast. You are not going to get very many anonymous sources standing in front of a TV camera! That's not to say TV can't be supported by good journalism but when they've paid out a huge pile of money for the right to broadcast the sport their primary interest is going to be getting people to watch and keep watching. Saying that everything is censored or corrupt isn't going to do that.

The question is are there fewer good F1 Journalists now than there was previously or is there just more rubbish, echo chamber noise burying them? It use to be that F1 Journo's would write a column a week/month leaving far more time for stories to be researched, evolve and maybe just die off after turning out to be nothing. Now you've got to almost report in realtime and spin an article out of a single quote/fact as soon as you have it. That makes putting things into a clear context very difficult.

If you come for the king, you best not miss.
You sound a lot like Joe Saward - (a great motor sport journalist)

LukeBrown66

3,182 posts

30 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
Saward is less than respected in the paddock, he only gets a lot because he is the last of the lof guard really, has numerous contacts with teams, he is a little sensationalist and is rather looked down upon in the club I think.
Does not mean of course he is not a good writer or journalist, just that he maybe does not follow the crowd...

As most sheep in F1 do.

Derek Smith

43,484 posts

232 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
There was an online fanzine site that was well respected. It had some quality writers and had reporters attend most race meets. I didn't always agree with their commentators, but they were normally good reading.

When Mosley exposed himself, in more ways than one, and took the NotW to court, challenging the outrightly fraudulent accusation of it being nazi-themed, one of the best of their columnists pointed out some anomalies with Justice Eady's (whatever happened to him? His decisions were the most successfully challenged of all judges, and then he sort of disappeared. The case, apparently, costing him) decision, notably that if there was nothing nazi about it, why the German uniforms, concentration camp garb, inspection for lice and, I think I remember reading, someone saying 'we are Aryans'. Thank goodness we have judges to stop us jumping to obvious but incorrect conclusions, eh?

The chap suddenly stopped writing for the website, although there was mention of threats of losing their pitpass. The site then became bland and merely repeated what we already knew.

alisdairm

83 posts

145 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
realjv said:
If you come for the king, you best not miss.
As said by Omar Little

First time I've seen a quote from The Wire in an F1 thread.

Sandpit Steve

7,359 posts

58 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
LukeBrown66 said:
Saward is less than respected in the paddock, he only gets a lot because he is the last of the lof guard really, has numerous contacts with teams, he is a little sensationalist and is rather looked down upon in the club I think.
Does not mean of course he is not a good writer or journalist, just that he maybe does not follow the crowd...

As most sheep in F1 do.
The paddock needs a lot more Joes and Teds walking around with their notebooks, and a lot fewer sheep.

Jasandjules

68,294 posts

213 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
Yes indeed, the way Sky F1 treated AD last season was a disgrace, it was only Hill who actually told the truth. I cancelled my Sky F1 because of it.


ChocolateFrog

19,097 posts

157 months

Tuesday 1st November
quotequote all
Don't they live under the threat of losing their access passes unless they're a really big name?