Motorsport Reporters: Don't talk over the radio!

July 7, 2017

365 words, a 2 minutes read

If you’re an aspiring journalist who wants to do commentary on motorsport, there’s one thing you can do really wrong: talk, while radio messages are played.

You see, I’m mostly watching F1 and because that sport is quite closed to outsiders, radio messages are some of the most honest messages you’ll hear throughout the day. Sure, the teams know they’re heard and they won’t talk about anything secret, but it’s still the only communication channel they have for their drivers during the race (I think there’s a little text message part on the steering wheel, but try reading that at 300 km/h). And since I understand English quite good, I don’t wanna rely on the translations and interpretations of the message after the fact.

Now some reporters, usually ones that do their first commentary, are just too excited about it, especially the younger ones. Or they think they need to be heard, especially the older ones, which is another thing you should always keep in mind: you’re just here to give me some background info on why stuff happens, but I haven’t actually turned in to watch YOU.

What happens then is, that they talk over the radio and you don’t hear anything. Now it’s not like they just talk. Usually, some 5-10 seconds before the message, there’s already the little box telling you there’s a message playing. At least it’s enough that any experienced sports reporter will just shut up, or will even have time to say “now let’s hear what Vettel has to say…”.

I recently watched a re-run of Le Mans 2017 (haven’t been through the whole thing, about 12 hours in now) and I don’t know who produced that show, I watched the official FIA one you can buy for some 10€. However, they actually even shut up their outside reporters (which can’t know because they’re not in the studio) quite abruptly, and they don’t seem get fed up, as you shouldn’t be.

So, if you don’t want everyone to hate you and consider calling the TV station to tell him to shut up (especially in a race, not so important in training sessions), please don’t talk over the radio 🙂.