2009 Motorsports non-news coverage
Hawaii Motorbeat Monthly
The local racing season is pau, as are
the national battles in NASCAR and the NHRA. But you sure wouldn't
know it from the coverage by our Hawai'i television and print media.
In fact, if you counted on local coverage, you wouldn't even know
that millions of people attended the major stockcar and drag racing
events and hundreds of competitors and thousands of fans went to our
local races this year.
You couldn't have asked for a more exciting season for the national
roundy-round or quartermile warriors. Jimmie Johnson won
his unprecedented fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships
and Tony Schumacher dueled with Larry Dixon down to the last
few 300 mph passes to take an unheard of 6th straight National Hot
Rod Association Full Throttle Championship top fuel title in his US
Army dragster. On the local Sunday TV Sports Reports those nights.
however, we got clips from the first few games of the new NBA and
NFL season. Go figure.
Don't get me wrong, I follow the NFL and NBA along with millions of
others, but I also follow the weekly racing circuits and will click
back and forth on any given Sunday to try and watch them all. But
when it gets down to the final minutes ~ I'm locked into the high
speed finishes on the track. And Im not alone.
There's no excuse for ignoring motorsports at the national level.
The events are covered with hundreds of hours of well-sponsored TV
time, but when it comes to the evening news 'sports report' they
barely get mentioned. It's not from the lack of effort by the big
sanctioning bodies; they provide video, stills and total results to
all the national and local media. It's more a matter of 'sports
editors' living in the shadow of stick-and-ball nostalgia and their
own preferences for golf, baseball and the like. They just dont see
men and women in, and on, machines as the athletes they are. Hello?
But the lack of local racing coverage is purely in the
hands of our local race clubs and promoters. All are amateur events
run by, and for, the racers. The volunteers make sure the track is
prepped, there's an ambulance on hand and the tech crews are ready
when the gates open. But they fail to appoint someone to make sure
both pre and post race information is delivered to the media. And I
mean delivered on a silver platter, with concise facts containing
the basic who, what, where, when and why of a story.
Get info about your upcoming event to the local papers two weeks
before the event and they'll probably run it the week it's
happening. Then follow up the next day with a paragraph of
highlights of the event and full, simple, results. Do that with
consistency in 2010 and I'll bet you see more local coverage. Or,
don't bother and just complain about it. - PM
Hawaii Motorbeat Monthly
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