Tragedy happens on a rally in Scotland, and spectator loses her life. Mainstream media, devoid of any rally education (rally is that thing that gets on TV after midnight, when mainstream people either watch movies, are out having fun or sleep) do their thing, they call in experts and anyone remotely involved with rally to comment, some refuse, some agree and comment. Some comments are fine, some are odd, but this is mainstream media, you know, the kind that says: rally ”took place despite muddy and slippery conditions” (Daily Mail in their now removed article).
Sure enough, some of these comments lacked any structure and real ideas or solutions, and were mainly statistics aimed to prove how rally is actually statistically very safe, but this is live TV we’re talking about, and this are hosts asking “But, despite of everything you’ve just said about high standards of marshaling, what is there to stop me from wandering around the woods and onto stage?” and then repeat same question over and over, not actually paying attention to what the person (let’s call him person A) trying to comment was saying. It’s faulty at both sides, and it’s talking about issues and problems in a wrong way.
And then, few days later, when the dust settles a bit, people who were not called to comment and give their opinions in the first place (or were called, but refused), are doing it, but not in a way that will help improve safety standards or bring more awareness of all the risks involved in rallying. No, instead, these articles are dealing with what the other people (person A) said in their live comments on TV. Was it necessary? Constructive?
“That guy didn’t really say much, so here’s me saying the same thing in a few more words, but while I’m here, I might take a swing or two at that guy, we’re not best of friends anyway”, sort of.
At the same time, rally is still far from the eyes of public, mainstream media still treat it like some semi-illegal gathering of strange people and their cars in the forests. Wouldn’t it be more productive to start the campaign to increase the image of the sport and bring it closer to the people and general public? The latter guy from this story said mainstream media did not make any serious mistakes in their reporting. Well, the thing quoted above begs to differ.
Is it helpful in any way to cross-bash each other instead of joining forces for the greater good? I have no idea, but some of the practices and the little intrigues going on behind the WRC covers are really getting old – discussions about the fatal accident are not the place to settle old scores.
To make it clear, I’m not taking anyone’s side in this – you learn quickly how interests in the sport and love for sport can combine in ways you wouldn’t thought possible. And there is so much harrumph and not many actual ideas, even from the most distinguished experts on both “sides”. In case I need to, I’d like to emphasize that opinions expressed here are my own, I might change my mind tomorrow or after I sleep on it, but this is what came to mind right now, so it ended up on these pages.