Sail-World.com : Laura Dekker and the Press - reader response
Laura Dekker and the Press - reader response
'Guppy, the Juneau Gin Fizz ketch that Laura Dekker is sailing around the world'
As regular readers of Sail-World Cruising will know, this is a news magazine, not a forum. However, we received such a response to my question about teen sailor Laura Dekker last week, that we have decided to print a cross-section of the replies, printing both positive and negative responses in the same proportion as the whole.
About 80% of the comments were positive - or at least anti-media, and who at home with a fifteen-year-old finds them an easy proposition anyway?
For the original story, click here
Message: If Laura Dekker is irritated by the media, there is in all probability the overwhelming likelihood that, in the best tradition of the paparazzi class, the media are irritating.
Message: Empathy was never very high on the media's list of priorities and it is likely that this young girl has some way to go in learning to manage her interactions with the hacks who are sent to get the story.
Individuals vary widely in their tolerance of aggressive and insensitive interviews and that is the way we are.
If you want a polished performance, get a politician or a lawyer to do the stuff and the veneer will be good enough, but it will be just that --- a veneer.
Cut the girl some slack and let her get on with the essence of the thing, it is not about how a relatively immature individual responds to the peculiar behaviour of the media, it is really about how she survives the natural nasties, not about the specialised nasties.
Message: I can fully understand her, it is sometimes amazing how unprepared journalists are interviewing people. Of course men can not generalize but we all appreciate than journalists are necessary and that is fine as long as they do not act as if the other party should be at their mercy. I run a charity organization for the deaf and yes it makes me furious when they interview me and ask if their are all blind and more silly question. It is also amazing how many journalist just show up too late for their interview and we just have to wait and wait eventually some of them will not even show up. Yes we need you but please have a bit of respect and professionalism, prepare your case, show up in time and accept that journalists are not the most important people in the world. I can fully imagine that after a solo crossing, journalists are not want you have been waiting for.
Message: Good on her! Journos are a pain... I totally sympathize with her attitude towards them... just look around, especially when some tragic event happens, a flood, fire or earthquake, there are scores of reporters chasing the victims and keep asking them their stupid, insensitive questions like '...so tell us how did you feel when you saw your children drowning?' and a closeup on the face of a devastated person.
Good on ya Laura keep'em at bay!
Message: Bob Dylan was none too fond of journalists either, when he started out. Laura should be judged on her sailing, not her PR.
Message: Our new era of technology allows us to communicate on a moments notice. Sometimes it seems as its almost communicating within yourself, because there is no actual human touch or physical involvment with a specific person. At 15 years old Laura will learn that what we think at a moments notice, may change after some reflection and relaxation. I'm sure many of us have said, or thought things we really didn't mean.
> Message: My wife and I had crossed the path of Laura Dekker in St Maarten. We live on our cruising boat and noticed Laura conducting an interview at the St Maarten Yacht Club one late afternoon. It was great to see someone so young living a dream of sailing around the world like ourselves. We are from Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne Australia, the home of Jesse Martin who also achieved this feat at the age of 17. I watched and read intently on Sail-World the endeavours of a few of these young achievers in admiration, until our encounter with Laura.
> A few days after our siting of Laura we saw her berthed at Simpson Bay Marina in St Maarten on the Dutch side. We were passing by in our small tender, and Laura was at the stern of her boat. My wife and I slowed down and said ' excuse me Laura you are famous in Australia do you mind us taking your photo?'. She looked at us as if who the hell are you and said 'you can take a photo of the boat but you won't get one of me' and gave us a look that you would not believe. Then turned her back and went down below in her boat.
> We were absolutely gobsmacked by her rudeness, my wife was shocked. It was not like we were invading her privacy and we did ask her for a photo before just trying to snap away. We were amazed. Little did she know that only days before I read an article on Sail-world about her lack of funds for the remaining part of her trip. My wife and had talked about offering some money in support from our cruising funds, and as her boat's bottom was full of barnicles, even offer to dive and clean it for her.
> But after the encounter we decided to do nothing, and several times after we passed her boat with caution, not wanting to make any contact with the rude little teenager. Little does this young girl know that if she presented herself in a manner that accepted the notorierty she has bought on herself, the world 'could' be her oyster. Maybe she would have been better sailing the long and lonely miles non stop and unassisted like some of her counterparts. She won't be getting any assistance from us !
Message: As a person teen or not and not haveing to rely on the media for total exposure as most celebs Laura has expressed what they would like to say many times over.
Message: Really, your going on about a kid who wants to sail the planet and her reaction the the mind numbing media blitz. And this is perplexing to you? As one of the media. It would be nice if the media showed up prepared and maybe read an article already published about her before sticking a mic in her face. And forgot her age and focused on her task at hand! Remember she come from a land less Media GAGA than you & I. So, can we all just get on with it. Shut up and sail.
Message: Dear Editor,
I believe the media should get off of her back and leave the kid alone.
First it was Jessica Watson who had to cop a heap of unwarranted critisism now it is Laura Dekker.
When Laura has successfully completed her journey it will be some other young person attempting to do what most journo's would not have the guts, determination intellect or initiative to attempt.
Give her a fair go and at the end of it we will find another young person worthy of living and contributing to this planet, unlike some of the media who seem to delight in presenting a negative theme most of the time.
What a fine example of our youth Jessica is and Laura will be no different I'm sure
I'm sure that if you or the idiot reporter who questioned her have ever sailed a solo night passage you would know how the poor kid was feeling and I guess the idiot reporter having to ask Laura her name was the icing on the cake and the ultimate insult.
I believe it was Dale Carnegie who once stated - 'The sweetest sound that a human being can ever hear is the sound of their own name'.
Message: A bit hypocritical being angry at clueless media when the whole purpose of her voyage is to attract clueless media. Maybe her parents forgot to tell her that they plan to live on her media earnings if she finishes the trip.
Yachting media (ie non-clueless on sailing) would cover it anyway, but it is hardly mainstream. And mainstream media knows nothing about sailing. So educate them.
If someone wanted to sail solo around the world in private, no-one would ever need to know. The publicity is always sought by the campaign to promote their sponsors and to make the book and TV rights worth more at the end.
Get over yourself, Laura.
by Nancy Knudsen
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1:56 AM Sat 9 Apr 2011 GMT
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