Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An Introduction to "The Wedge Adjustment"

I often spend time each day seeking NASCAR related stories, but I am often taken aback by the lack of insight that most journalists have about racing. Other than a couple of journalists (Monte Dutton, Mike Mulhern are two of my favorites), most writers are simply sensationalists who know how to use words to create buzz. I have a deep disdain for stories that are designed to pit one set of fans against another (Gordon vs. Earnhardt) or one racing series against another (NASCAR vs. F1). It is for that reason I feel that it is important to have a blog that speaks objectively about racing.

I am not a racing insider. I do not have very many ties with racing other than an interest in the sport that runs deep within me. I do follow it closely, and live in a region of the country that is ground zero for stock car racing. Therefore my opinions are formed through many years of being immersed in racing's culture. That being said, I don't feel that being a racing insider is good for objectivity. Being too close to something that you care about can alter what you are willing to report.

For instance, a reporter who wants a story from Tony Stewart may want to ask a tough question, however asking that question to someone as volatile as Tony can lead to a confrontation. The ramification of that altercation may be Tony refusing to answer anymore questions. So, what does the reporter do? The result is that he or she ends up not asking the controversial, yet important question. If you plan on being a NASCAR reporter, it is in your best interest to avoid such a confrontation and look for a "softer" subject to question Tony about.

There is also the issue of asking what it is in your best interest to ask. If you are planning on spending you career covering NASCAR, you are going to be inclined to ask questions and cover stories that promote the sport that is your livelihood. Luckily, all reporters do not fall for this trap, however in the era of T.V. coverage we are being force-fed a heavy dose of this coverage each week.

That is why I want to write this blog each week. Not to provide an "insider" view, but to provide an objective observer's viewpoint. I believe that of viewpoint is being lost more and more. So if you would like to read some of my opinions on racing, I will try to post one each week. Please share your opinions and I look forward to reading your responses.

1 comment:

Lou,Kingston,NY said...
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