Yachting also deserves professional journalism equal to meeting the challenges of globalisation, for use as a real tool for criticising and analysing the current situation
by Francesco Michienzi
Given the immense flow of information available in the world, why do we need journalists and their professional role if the internet is supplying us with a continuous news stream? Journalism is increasingly being perceived as a drive belt for third-party interests, resulting in an unfortunate loss of credibility for the profession.
When I receive the press review containing a collection of news from the world of yachting I am always perplexed to see that most of the article titles and contents are exactly the same. This phenomenon does not really concern me, inasmuch as this type of information will simply be discarded as irrelevant.
However, I am concerned about the fact that we do not seem to feel the need to provide real information, I am concerned that criticism is not tolerated and that ideas differing from one’s own are not taken into consideration. The tendency to consider journalists as solely divulging the strong points, while concealing defects, is becoming increasingly widespread. Press offices do their job well, but we are the ones who have to have the strength and desire to go beyond their press releases.
I realise that yards have to spend money to have their boat tested by a journalist, but a test reveals many aspects of the yacht’s construction. Even simply providing information on speeds and consumption allows us to perform numerous evaluations. Ultimately, it is in the interest of builders to measure themselves against objective data. This is why my team and I go all over the place, testing boats at sea and visiting yards and boat shows to evaluate every last detail in person.
I would like to cite my colleague Alberto Negri who, the day after Donald Trump’s election, wrote on Facebook: «Journalists do not have a crystal ball, they are not gurus, but professionals who can provide descriptions and facts, thereby enabling others to draw their own conclusions about the state of things. Today they are no longer even the holders of the information that circulates everywhere on social media. Journalism is therefore a profession in which people have to be even more humble and courageous in order to distinguish what is true from what is false, and this is achieved through sheer hard work: in this sense nothing has changed since the early days. I have to repeat it to myself on a daily basis».
Let’s try to make quality, professionalism, accuracy, fact-checking, investigation and in-depth study win out. Let’s shun approximation, rashness and sensationalism. Let’s do so with a tireless enthusiasm and passion for our profession as journalists.
(Information, the editorial by Franco Michienzi – Barchemagazine.com – Febbraio 2019)