The AIJC (Association International des journalists du cyclisme) elected a new board last autumn. Its primary aim will be to improve the media’s working conditions in WorldTour races. With several newsletters, we want to maintain more contact with the teams in the coming year. Going in that direction, within a month, we hope to have our new website online.
The association had its first board meeting for 2013 in the Tour of Oman, where we discussed several topics. We are concerned that the availability of the riders in several teams becoming increasingly difficult. Especially in the smaller races, you must also realise the stars need to be made available for one-on-one interviews.
With the economic crisis, and some doping cases, more and more mainstream newspapers and magazines are threatening to cut back by not sending journalists to the smaller races. If journalists are sent to the Ruta del Sol, Majorca, Tour Down Under, Qatar, Oman, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Romandie, Criterium du Daupiné, then it is expected they return with some exclusive reports.
We realise that a one-on-one interview with top riders at the big classics and Grand Tours is increasingly difficult, but in the smaller races, like the ones listed, time should exist. If not, media outlets will increasingly pull out. An unfortunate result of this is less interest and coverage for smaller races. And… loss of valuable publicity both for the events and the sponsors.
Raymond Kerckhoffs, president AIJC
Gilles Le Roc’h, Gregor Brown and Alasdair Fotheringham. (Board AIJC)