> > From the limited exposure I've had to mainstream reporters
> > skating, I've seen that often they have no one to ask but each other
> > technical details.
> Right. They're only sitting in an arena surrounded by hundreds, if not
> thousands of people who know more about skating than they do. If they
> can't find someone who can help them and answer questions, they aren't
> trying very hard.
I wouldn't be too *** the mainstream reporters. If I were sent
to, say, a football game with instructions to cover it, I wouldn't know
whom to ask, either. I'd be busy keeping my eyes wide open, trying to
learn this alien and complicated sport as quickly as possible. I mean,
I've been a skating fan for years, and I dorkily posted here that Handra
and Sinek got a timing deduction when they did not (like I knew something)
-- did I bother to go to section 117 and ask the judges about it first?
Noooo.... So I really don't expect most reporters to go, Oh look, there's
Bob Horen; I can ask him.
As for being surrounded by people who know skating better than they
do: it's impossible to tell. I heard lots of authoritative-sounding
opinions from the audience like "they throw out the high and the low
marks," while there were people I personally knew to be knowledgeable who
were a lot quieter. I really don't want to throw reporters on the mercy
of whomever they can find in the crowd.
In my experience, reporters are really grateful to have access to a
knowledgeable spokesperson, and most wouldn't want to show disrespect for
the proceedings by combing desperately through the audience looking for
help. I don't think, either, that it's a case of the USFSA wanting to
mystify the correct information. Something is definitely to blame here,
but I think it's more likely to be lack of vision. (Uh-oh, my tendency to
want to rule the world is showing again.) Anyway, the level of skating
reportage and public knowledge has definitely risen in the past several
years, so I expect improvements to continue.