Shame on Macau Grand Prix Broadcasters for Lack of Respect

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There will always be danger in racing, no matter how safe you try and make the cars. It’s part of the risk that the drivers and fans know in watching these superstars battle at insane speeds. Though how you handle a situation like this while on the air broadcasting is critical.

The Macau Grand Prix was tainted this past weekend with an incident happened that ultimately caught the world’s attention. While battling for position in the Formula 3 event, 17-year-old Sophia Floersch lost control as she drove into the Lisboa bend, making contact with two other drivers, before catching flight and crashing into the fence. Thankfully, she along with the others injured are expected to make full recoveries.

While the car did it’s job protecting the driver, the broadcasters certainly let the fans down in how they handled the situation.

Making sure to offer respect to those involved and accurate information should always be apparent, so therefore filtering the information being delivered should always be important. That means professionally stating the facts at hand in what happened – meaning driver xyz was involved in this crash, while not speculating until the official resources reveal everything.

Let’s face it – your consumer is not blind nor dumb. You should always acknowledge the incident that happened as they are going to find out via other ways, hence the discussion taking over twitter at the wee hours of the morning when this occurred. So choosing to not state anything about what happened just makes you seem clueless.

The worst part? These broadcasters went another step beyond clueless, joking that the event was simply suspended due to fence damage.

Where’s the respect for Sophia and those fighting for their lives now? In a situation like this, being serious in knowing that something significant happened, while showing compassion, can certainly make things easier on everybody.

The excuse by some viewers on twitter was the broadcasters had not seen what happened so hence not knowing the severity. But let it be known, they’re not on an island as they have a producer in their ear telling them when to go to commercial, etc. I bet that producer themselves or had someone else finding out the full details. Once that was known, even if they did not have footage, they could have simply said the names of those involved and awaiting news while toning down their attitude. Keeping public aware is better than what turned into a game of deception and “joking around.”

It’s even worse when they began to interview drivers, and they were sharing jokes themselves. The competitors doing so makes it even more sickening. Like, hello that was your fellow competitor. You’d think they would’ve heard from their team what’s going on and have some compassion, too.

If these commentators want some notes for future reference, look back at IndyCar’s incidents and see how ESPN and ABC handled those, whether Robert Wicken’s crash at Pocono Raceway or the death of Dan Wheldon. In both cases, they simply informed the fans of who was involved, what happened, and they were hoping for the best. They then kept professionalism in finding relevant topics without invading privacy.

Instead, the world watched on as we were delivered one of the worst broadcasts in sport’s history. What a shame,

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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