The Ideological War (On Cycling)

You do realise the Daily Mail, while retaining a stake in the Standard, doesn’t own it? It’s owned by the Lebedev’s who also own the Independent. Just a point of accuracy. Also, sounds like you may not be aware that newspaper coverage is often careful not to apportion blame due to defamation and contempt of court laws. It’s for the courts to decide who is to blame. And anyway, the reporter often won’t have access to direct witness accounts, so even if it seems obvious to you that the driver was at fault, they simply won’t know that as a fact. Police and ambulance services will only confirm what/who was involved in the accident, i.e. car/bike/pedestrian/bus/lorry etc., and the extent of injuries. None of the authorities will say how it happened.

The McVeigh story was covered partly because it’s less common that someone would be injured by a cyclist on the pavement, not because of any agenda against cyclists. One of the aims of newspapers is to find stories that are new and different. There were also CCTV images adding to the story — which were proactively released by the police who issued a witness appeal. You should be aware that covering one story (i.e. this one) does not stop them covering any other story (i.e. one where a cyclist has been hurt by a car). The Evening Standard has done about eight stories on the latest London cycle death for example.

It looks like you have done some ‘passive’ research, reading lots of (selective) reports, but perhaps actually speaking to journalists would be helpful next time?

Lastly, you’re simply wrong about there being a media conspiracy against cycling, as you seem to be suggesting. There are some people in the media who are anti cyclist, in particular some columnists. But are you not aware of all the pieces about how our streets can be better for cyclists in the Standard, the Times, the Guardian? The Times has been running a campaign for a while, and I think the Standard may have done as well.

For your info: I am a journalist and a cyclist (many of us are) and have covered lots of terrible cycling accidents and deaths.

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