Opinion: Bernie’s trolling raises an interesting argument



Just who should be let into the media scrum at an FIA or high profile event?

This article was a reply to this article on Bernie Ecclestone’s statements that online or digital media accreditation requirements need to be looked at.  Not saying at all that it is true or he said the words but it does raise an interesting debate into media at racetracks.

Despite Bernie’s apparent trolling, it does raise an interesting debate…I earn my living in digital media, I have a Masters in it and I have spend the last ten years in motorsport working for websites. I have worked on both sides, on the accreditation side and applying for accreditation. I don’t know who the heck has been getting into F1, MotoGP, WRC, I can tell you it isn’t easy. I don’t know what the WEC is like for a credential but I could imagine it would be different to F1 given they are not pretending the media landscape is the same as it was in the 80s.

There are many hacks out there but there are many excellent publications and journalists both in print and web (radio, TV etc I’ll leave out). I know a few print publications that don’t have sub-editors and operate with a similar ‘pour in the content to a template’ that a website has. Just because it is printed doesn’t mean it is anything more than a press release or submission from a community member. Also I have worked, been accepted and denied for credentials for events where I could deliver an audience some five times that of the a high profile magazine. One particular instance the magazine had seven people, and my publication got zero.

It is frustrating too when you go to big events and the press room is filled with people you have never seen before working for so-called motorsport publications. When you go to club/state even national meet at the same track and there are about three people there…

I think some of the accreditation procedures need to be changed to reflect the current need of motorsport and getting ideas, influence, and impact rather than simple numbers or column inches. Going even further, unless you’re working for a publication of choice you have to go through some sort of ladder system. You don’t get a press pass for F1/WEC/WRC/V8s et al unless you’ve applied your trade at club/state level, proven yourself, proven your publication’s worth, and importantly proven that you are there for the sport – not only for yourself.

Let us know what you think below or our Twitter or Facebook.

By Sam Tickell,  November 2014

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