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Personal Bias in Reporting - this is poor, Cyclingnews!!!

Why is it salient to the reader to know how many reporters did or didn't attend the impromptu press conference given by Christophe Moreau during the rest day?

"Christophe Moreau organised a mini press conference with less than ten reporters attending to announce the end of his career when his contract with Caisse d'Epargne finishes at the end of this year."

It's not, of course, and the only reason that information is published is to humiliate Moreau and present him as being unworthy of attention from the media - a washed-up rider, if you will.

Unfortunately for cyclingnews.com, that's a distinction that should be left to the reader to make, based on factors such as Moreau's age, his results, whether or not a contract has been offered to him for next year... It's NOT the responsibility of your "reporter" to reveal his personal bias and pettiness by gloating over the fact that Moreau's press conference didn't draw the number of reporters as Contador's might have.

And to put that information in the lead only makes it all the more glaringly obvious that the correspondent has an agenda that does not favor the subject of his report.

You all should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing that kind of amateurish ... I don't even want to validate it by calling it reporting - because it's not - ... crap in what is supposed to be a leading cycling news website. Instead of reporting, we get a writer slagging-off Christophe Moreau.
 
And here is an example from VeloNation on how the Moreau article SHOULD have been written:


French veteran Christophe Moreau announces retirement
By Ben Atkins @ 11:27 AM :: :: 0 Comments ::
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:: Pro Cycling

Christophe Moreau of Caisse d’Epargne has announced his intention to retire at the end of the current season, according to l’Equipe. The 39-year-old Frenchman, who has been a professional since 1995, is the oldest rider in this year’s Tour de France and announced his decision during a rest day press conference in Morzine-Avoriaz.

Moreau made his decision to “turn the page”, he says, after seeing another senior rider suffer so much in yesterday’s Alpine stage. “Armstrong lived the worst day of his career,” he said on France-info. “When I saw him I made my decision to stop.”

Like many top French riders, his career has been synonymous with the Tour de France, but noted that the beginning of this year’s race had been tougher than usual. “The first few days’ routes were terrible,” he said, “ almost superhuman, it caused some enormous tension.”

Although he now feels that it is time to hang up his wheels, Moreau, who is nicknamed “le chien” (the dog) because of the distinctive “tongue-out” expression he wears when he is suffering on a climb or in a time trial, will not be stopping immediately after the Tour.

“I want to enjoy myself sportingly until the end of the Tour,” he said, “and until the end of the season,” “I always wanted to ride my bike,” “Now I want to create some great opportunities in the Tour to finish in style.”

Moreau turned professional with the Festina team in 1995, where he showed early promise finishing second in the Tour de l’Avenir. Like most of the riders on that team though, he was embroiled in the scandal that rocked the sport during the 1998 Tour de France. He admitted using EPO and was suspended for six months.

As one of the few high-profile riders to stay with Festina after the scandal, Moreau’s best year came in 2000 when he finished 4th overall in the tour de France. The next year he won the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and started the Tour with high hopes, winning the prologue to take the first yellow jersey; things didn’t go to plan though and he abandoned on stage 12.

After Festina withdrew from the sport, he signed for the Credit Agricole team from 2002, where he was to experience mixed fortunes once more. He abandoned the 2002 Tour, but returned to finish 8th in 2003. After an injury delayed 2004 season he returned to finish 12th in the Tour, once again the best French finisher. In 2005 he finished 11th, but the team did not renew his contract and he signed for the AG2R-Prevoyance team for the next year.

He stayed at Vincent Lavenue’s team for two seasons, finishing the 2006 Tour in 7th; he repeated his Dauphiné Libéré win in 2007, including a stage win on Mont Ventoux, and became French road champion for the first and only time in his career. In 2008 he joined the Professional Continental Agritubel team, but his career continued its downward trend. It was thought that he might have retired at the end of last year when the team folded, but he was offered the lifeline of one more season with Caisse d’Epargne.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Sorry Joe but I think this displays more of your own personal bias than it does on the part of the reporter. If you read the entire article there is not an ounce of negative commentary anywhere in it, simply factual reporting.

If anything I would think the attendance was included as a sad commentary that the world media struggles to care about any other rider than Lance (or in extreme cases the Yellow Jersey) this year. As such it is ENTRELY appropriate to include that fact.

The length of the article can have many reasons. Given the pattern of articles on the CyclingNews site, why do you assume that there will not be a Moreau retrospective coming up sometime soon?
 
Mar 3, 2009
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joe_papp said:
Why is it salient to the reader to know how many reporters did or didn't attend the impromptu press conference given by Christophe Moreau during the rest day?

Martin318is said:
If anything I would think the attendance was included as a sad commentary that the world media struggles to care about any other rider than Lance (or in extreme cases the Yellow Jersey) this year. As such it is ENTRELY appropriate to include that fact.

Can't speak for the reporter or the sub-editor, as I was neither on this one. However, I would think the above comment answers the question IMO.

Cheers
Greg Johnson
 
Oct 18, 2009
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Christophe Moreau organised a mini press conference with less than ten reporters attending to announce the end of his career when his contract with Caisse d'Epargne finishes at the end of this year.

Well it does sound a bit sad but I guesss a fact is a fact. -What can you do about it? - It could also be a tongue in cheek reference to Moreau's total inability to retire :

Moreau considered retiring at the end of his contract with Ag2r in 2007 and every year since.


"he already said last year that it was his last Tour, so be careful of a possible change of mind!" [Lauren Fignon]
 
May 9, 2009
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I read it to mean not that he organized a press conference and told everyone and only ten showed up: I read it to mean that he organized the press conference for ten reporters - meaning that he or the team just contacted ten reporters they are familiar with and told them, "hey, come by at such and such a time for an announcement please."
 
Any personal bias that I have is for fair, objective reporting. If the reference to the number of journalists who attended the conference was meant to reflect poorly upon the state of media, then a separate article should have been written on that, and Moreau's pc used as an example. If the information was included to humiliate the rider, then why was the CN correspondent there to begin with? Shouldn't he have skipped it b/c Moreau is washed-up in his eyes?

All you have to do is look at the competing piece from Velonation to see how the piece should have been written - with no reference to the number of attendees at the press conference, unless the point of the article was to either slag-off the media or humiliate Moreau.

And the attempt to put this back on me as evidence of my somehow having a bias is disappointing. Since when is wanting fair, neutral, objective reporting a bias? Keep opinion pieces on the Op/ED pages, and leave reporting as reporting.

What I'd actually like to know is if there might not have been some bad blood between the French correspondent and Moreau...and so he took advantage of the opportunity to land a cheap shot against the rider.

Ultimately though, Moreau gave the best response of all, by going and riding his heart out the next day and finishing in the break.

Sorry if my reaction to the bias in the article was over-the-top or relied on profane speech to convey my extreme unhappiness with such inappropriate commentary, but I stand by my original statement that the inclusion of that reference to the number of attendees at the press conference was unnecessary and served only to reveal the personal bias of the correspondent against the subject of the report.
 
Greg Johnson said:
Can't speak for the reporter or the sub-editor, as I was neither on this one. However, I would think the above comment answers the question IMO.

Cheers
Greg Johnson

Again, if that is the point of including the reference - that the media is beat and not doing it's job, then you can commission an entire piece on that topic and use Moreau's press conference as an example, rather than mixing up the themes in coverage of a rider's retirement announcement, and risk skewing the public's perception of the entire story. Or not.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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When I read that article I interpreted that line as being more pro-Moreau than a shot at him. Like Martin wrote, a not-too-subtle indictment of the media's focus on the current stars and one former star at the expense of others who have also had glorious careers. My interpretation anyway for what it's worth.
 
I didn't read it so much as bias against him, as I did the sorry state of the sport, and many fans, who clamor to hear all things Armstrong, all things scandal, and all things doping, followed by racing. And it has to be quick.

This reminds me a little of the way broadcasting has changed in cycling in the US. We discussed in another thread about in the "GT's suck" thread. The profile packages run in not only cycling, but sports, pale in comparison to what was done 20 years ago. They put us to shame. I use this example of the 1987 Team 7-11 profile by CBSand John Tesh (of all people). Instead, we get slick snippits like this from Versus that have no heart.

Sorry for the digression. :(
 
Jun 16, 2009
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joe_papp said:
Again, if that is the point of including the reference - that the media is beat and not doing it's job, then you can commission an entire piece on that topic and use Moreau's press conference as an example, rather than mixing up the themes in coverage of a rider's retirement announcement, and risk skewing the public's perception of the entire story. Or not.

Agreed. it is interesting that a person from the cycling media, greg should make such a comment when in Australia in the tour down under, all the attention was around Lance!
 
Jun 16, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
Agreed. it is interesting that a person from the cycling media, greg should make such a comment when in Australia in the tour down under, all the attention was around Lance!

Unless I am confused ACF, I made the comment and Greg merely affirmed that my suggestion was a possibility. Given that there are a few others that had similar thoughts I hardly think it is that interesting.

Actually if anything, I find it more interesting to see Joe's apparent outrage at a very light statement in a press conference report - after all, it WAS factual was it not?
 
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Martin318is said:
Unless I am confused ACF, I made the comment and Greg merely affirmed that my suggestion was a possibility. Given that there are a few others that had similar thoughts I hardly think it is that interesting.

Actually if anything, I find it more interesting to see Joe's apparent outrage at a very light statement in a press conference report - after all, it WAS factual was it not?

I was just making the point that Greg's comment (who reaffirms you statement) is interesting especially as he himself is apart of the media who always talks up Lance. Was greg at the tdu as I would imagine if he was there he would be covering quite a few lance stories himself?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
I was just making the point that Greg's comment (who reaffirms you statement) is interesting especially as he himself is apart of the media who always talks up Lance. Was greg at the tdu as I would imagine if he was there he would be covering quite a few lance stories himself?

Well yes thats true but it becomes a lot less interesting when you go the full way around that loop of investigation and realise that the reason that we even have this thread is that someone from CN took the effort to go to the Moreau press conference and submit a report when most other agencies didn't.

So in essence what you are saying is that Greg and the team cover the Lance stories as much as anyone but fortunately they also cover the rest of the cycling world too. :D