Radio and television networks doing flag-to-flag coverage have their own systems and requirements and should be handled separately well in advance. Also, they should be provided with the same in-race information that is available in the press box. Surprisingly, this is often forgotten.
- Radio reporters doing spot feeds during a race should have access to the pits and paddock/garage areas for taping interviews with competitors and officials
- The post-race radio work area should have several P.A. speakers so comments from the winner's interview can be tape-recorded.
- The post-race radio work area should be equipped with "voice coupler" telephones. The number varies with the number of people filing reports. A rule-of-thumb ratio is one such phone for each four reporters.
- Television sport news crews usually include two and often three or more people. Since they work as a team, each should be given the same credentials.
- Vehicle accessibility as well as personal accessibility is important for TV crews. They come with heavy equipment and have a need to roam to get their shots.
- TV cameras should never be placed on the same photo decks as still photographers. Their needs are vastly different. A TV camera moves with the action. It is not uncommon to pan right into the arm of a still photographer, ruining the shots of both.
- The interview area should have a desk or table in front of the interviewee for microphones and tape recorders.
- The background for the TV interview area should not include windows. They create serious lighting problems and can cause camera problems.
- Where coverage warrants, tracks may wish to consider installing TV lights in the interview area, eliminating the need for crews to carry cumbersome portable lights.
- In providing pre-race material to TV stations, remember television is a visual medium. Video taped or DVD clips help the story and increase the chances it will be used.
This section deals with information services that should be provided.
B. During the race
- Entry list including car number, driver, hometown, car name and/or type.
- Time table of events
- Series standings and method of awarding points
- Thumbnail driver biographies, as available
- Time-speed conversion chart for the course
- Following time trials, a starting grid with the same information as in the entry list plus time and speed.
- Top 10 standings every 10 laps or 1/10 of the distance, whichever is less, including the leader's average speed.
- Reports on accidents - who where, damage, injury, lap occurred - as soon as reasonably accurate information is available. Update as needed. If information is delayed, explain the problem causing the delay.
- Lead changes
- Cars out of the race, including when and, If available, why
- Driver changes, including when and why
- Pit stops of leaders, including lap and reason.
- Such other information as may be unusual or pertinent, such as yellow, red or black flags, when and reason why.
NOTE: Where there is a press box/press room PA available, in-race information may be provided over it. But there should be hard copy follow-up.
NOTE: All post-race information should be available in printed form no more than 90 minutes after the completion of the event.
- Complete finishing order with driver name, hometown. car name, make and model, starting position, laps completed, class designation in multi-class events, time and speed for as many cars as possible, margin of victory, summary of lead changes, summary of yellow and/or red flags, prize winnings and attendance.
- Series point standings update
- Quote sheets from the winner and where pits or the garage area are hard to reach from press areas, from other drivers and personalities such as mechanics who may have played a significant role in the race.
- A stapled packet of information provided during the race, preferably in summarized form (Reason: The information provided during the race can be used to direct questions to drivers during interviews, but the blizzard of paper can become scattered, disorganized or lost by the time the race is over. The packet provides it all in one package )
- This section deals with the post-race interview area
- The area should be open only to working members of the print and broadcast media— no still photographers, no crew members—(occasional exceptions for the crew chief or car owner when he or she is newsworthy)—no hangers-on. Off-to-the-side conversations are a distraction and frequently make it hard for the person being interviewed to be heard. Those not involved in the interview should be asked to leave. This is a serious problem, even at some of the best-run facilities.
- The post-race interviews should be multi-media only when the space available is large enough that writers and broadcasters (including TV camera and sound crews) do not get in each other's way. If facilities do not permit this, schedule separate interviews - preferably in separate areas. In most cases, the print media should be accommodated first since most are working to a deadline. However, this may not always be the case. Tracks should check with key members of the media expected to cover the event as to relative needs and announce the track press policy in advance.
- The winner should be brought to the interview area directly from the victory lane ceremonies. Other drivers (2nd and 3rd places), also should be brought if circumstances warrant and as a matter of course at the biggest events - Indianapolis, Daytona, U.S. Grand Prix.
- This section deals with the special problems of still photographers.
- Photographers - particularly freelancers - are involved in more credential hassles than the rest of the media combined. This is a joint responsibility, however, photographers should request credentials far enough in advance thereby eliminating any problem in ascertaining their legitimacy and issuing appropriate credentials. Freelancers should obtain a letter of assignment well in advance of the event.
- Upon the issuance of media credentials, photographers should be presented with clear instructions; including a map indicating areas reserved for their use and those which are restricted to them.
- A primary concern stated by photographers is a lack of suitable shooting positions at many tracks. Photographer’s towers (or in some cases, photographer observation holes cut in the track’s protective fence), should be installed as close as possible to the racing surface at various strategic locations. It is impossible to establish a guideline that encompasses all racing venues. AARWBA suggests that racetrack operators and promoters, in cooperation with photographers who regularly cover their events, ascertain the optimum locations for photographer positions. This offers better opportunities to highlight both the racetrack and the color and excitement of the racing.
- Photographers also are involved in more hassles with track security people than the rest of the media combined. If Point 2 of this section is followed and security people are made clearly aware of the credentials issued to photographers and where they are permitted to go, the track's responsibility for these problems can be eliminated.
- Photography areas should be restricted to photographers. They should not have to compete for space and clear shooting areas with wandering crew members, members of other media, race officials or general hanger's-on.
- Photo stands in the victory lane area should be secured throughout the race in order to restrict those people without proper credentials from entering. Too often security people are absent from the victory lane until very late in the race. Invariably this is an extremely congested area where space is at a premium for working professionals without the addition of outsiders.
- With the advent of digital photography, most photographers now have requirements similar to their print brethren. That is access to adequate electrical outlets and telephones or telephone connections in close proximity to one another. A great number of photographers use laptop computers to edit and transmit their photographs to their respective publications. The rule-of-thumb should be a three-pronged electrical outlet for every working space and a phone line for every three. In cases where two types of electrical power are provided, i.e. 110v and 220v, the electrical outlets shall be clearly marked.