School of Journalism . . . or lack there of

I have questions. Naturally, I am an inquisitive person. Matter of fact, I enjoy asking questions on just about any subject. My parents thought it would die out as I grew older. No such luck. And no, not all of my questions are not cycling related. Okay, here are some just off the top of my head:

  • If evolution is a thing, why aren’t there some “people” still hung up between the monkey and the man phase? Or better yet, why are there any monkeys at all?
  • Could someone please explain deja vous? I have literally dreamed something then the exact same event happen months or years later.
  • How can someone actually still believe in flat earth?
  • Why is there no “E” grade in school?
  • How can identical twins have different finger prints?
  • How are billions of dollars pumped into cancer research, but we still treat the disease pretty much like we did in the 1950s?
  • If I am driving 50 mph and have an exact 50 mph tailwind, if I stuck my head out of the window would I feel anything?

I digress. In reference to my title, I am in awe of people who are suppose to be professional question askers, also known as journalists. Watching a recent interview with Peter Sagan about his recon of the Paris Roubaix course, he received the following questions:

  • Is the course different depending on if it is wet or if it is dry?
  • Will Quick-Step win?
  • Are you in your best form?
  • Does being cold affect you?
  • You have been unlucky in the past in Paris Roubaix, do you hope it is different this year?
  • Is Tour of Flanders a different race than Paris Roubaix?
  • Will it be easier to beat Quick-Step here than in the Tour of Flanders?

Now, I do not know about everyone, but does this make sense? Journalists across the world, in different settings, ask the same kind of questions, like asking a coach whether he would prefer winning the game or asking a congressmen whether it would be best not to go to war with another country or asking the mother of a dead child if she wishes things could be different. Most journalists possess a college degree, but in what? It appears that their B.S. degree has a different meaning for the letters. For Pete’s sake, you are interviewing the World Champion Peter Sagan, and that is the best you’ve got? Please allow me to softball some questions for you:

  • How do you handle the role of being three-time World Champion and others looking for you to cover the breaks after you’ve been isolated, without sitting up and refusing and giving up a chance to win?
  • Speaking of isolation, do you feel that it has become the norm for you and is Bora contemplating a change in strategy?
  • How much do you alter your tire pressure, in reference to the terrain?
  • How much does cadence play in riding cobbles verses riding tarmac?
  • In relation to preparation, does your diet vary between classics and grand tours?
  • How much wiggle room do you give yourself between the front of the group and getting too far back, in relation to positioning and crash avoidance?
  • How do you avoid becoming predictable to other riders?

I often wonder why the big TV, magazine, and newspaper reporters are not sending reporters who actually ride or were former tour riders. I know that is case with the color commentators of a race, but the boots-on-the-ground reporters needs to, at least, sound like they know something about the sport.

Bon Vélo!

4 thoughts on “School of Journalism . . . or lack there of

  1. Sagan has a motor home with the following written on the side:
    « They laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at them because they are all the same. »
    I assume that’s a comment about the press. I’ve been in a number of his press conferences and I get it. I’m not a professional journalist and there are some excellent ones who ask good, searching questions and then there are some………one despairs! I was fortunate to interview Peter a few years ago and he told me I asked questions no one else had asked him and he’d enjoyed the interview.

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