A day after the Soochow International Ultramarathon 24-Hour Endurance Run, I randomly bought two daily newspapers in one of the 7-11 Stores in Taipei, Taiwan in order to find out how the media in this country treat a running event in their newspapers.
I don’t know how to read and understand what were printed in such newspapers but by looking at the pictures, the newspapers depict how the media treats this yearly international running event.
In the picture above, I can assume that there is a personal story in the event (one of finishers could be offering an engagement/marriage proposal to his girlfriend); the top 3 results of the men’s and women’s categories; the pictures of the international winners and one of their local best runners; the presence of Taiwan’s Lady Icon of Ultramarathon Running (the picture of the lady with a walking stick) during the event; and the testimonies of the student-volunteers for the race.
The picture above was taken from another broadsheet and it occupies almost one page of the newspaper. The news is full of pictures that send a lot of messages to the readers. Ryoichi Sekiya, Champion of the event, in action and indicating that it’s his 5th time to win in the event; his shoes; Mami Kudo with the Japanese Flag as she won the Women’s Category; and the personal stories of the rest of the finishers of the event.
I don’t want to be pessimist and no longer hope for a better treatment of running events in our country in our newspapers’ SPORTS Pages, a day after a running event. Yes, there are running events that are well treated and presented in our newspapers way after days and weeks after the event and what is surprising is that you read them in the LIFESTYLE (& FEATURE) Pages. I am sorry if I offend some of my readers but I firmly believe that RUNNING is a SPORTS game and not a LIFESTYLE or special FEATURE event. What is worse is that Running is about to fill in the SOCIETY pages of our newspapers!
I am not trained in Mass Communications or finished PR-related courses but if we want RUNNING to be known and practiced down to the “grassroots” level, the media/newspapers should be able to allot at least 1/4 of their Sports Page to running-related news and pictures, a day after the event, and not on “Sports Tidbits”, I mean, “Sports News Briefs”!