Words: Aninda Sardar
My neighbours think I have the best job in the world, and I agree. Where else could I work that would allow me unbridled access to a different bike every other week? No, my job is brilliant and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there, judging by the number of resumes we get each month, who want to be a part of this fabulous fraternity. And for an overwhelming majority of aspirants, it is the love of motorcycles and motorcycling that makes them aspire to be a motorcycle journalist. Unfortunately, passion is only a part of being a bike journo. You need to have a bit more.
No matter how well you ride or stunt, you can’t be a journalist without good language skills. It’s a bit like trying to be a photographer without knowing how to operate a camera. After all, what you’re aspiring to do is write stories.
Ability to communicate
The reader experiences the motorcycle by proxy, that is through the writer’s experience of the product. The impressions he forms, or not, are all passed on to the reader. Therefore it is critical to be able to communicate those impressions clearly and without ambiguity so that the reader’s experience of the product is an accurate one.
An eye for detail
The key to a good product evaluation is paying attention to detail. Very often the difference between a good, bad and great product lies in the details. A motorcycle journalist must therefore pay meticulous attention to detail.
Ability to appreciate motorcycling as a whole
Irrespective of personal preferences, a good motorcycling journalist appreciates ALL formats. That is what separates a mature journalist from a bad one. Just because someone else likes to cruise on straight highways instead of dragging knees on every turn doesn’t automatically mean he is wrong.
The love of bikes
You need to love them and care for them like you would for another human. You need to form bonds with them and spend time together. For without love there is no passion and without passion there is no motorcycling, and certainly no motorcycle journalist.