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Is cycling treated fairly in the media? BBC AntiSocial goes cycling discussed with ‘the cyclist'

For episode 76 of the road.cc Podcast, we're debriefing how cycling was portrayed on the BBC's AntiSocial show with its 'cyclist' guest Lauren O'Brien, and talking indoor bike racing with the founder of fledgling virtual cycling platform IndieVelo...

In episode 76 of the road.cc Podcast, we're talking about... another podcast! Well, we'd like to think it goes a bit deeper than that, because our discussion with Lauren O'Brien - representing 'the cyclist' in a recent debate title 'Should cyclists stay in their lane?' with researcher and journalist James Woudhuysen - delves into how cycling is generally portrayed in the non-cycling media.

 

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The topic of the BBC AntiSocial episode in question was inspired by a recent clip of Jeremy Vine on his penny-farthing being blocked off by a driver who ignored cyclist and pedestrian priority, and title itself led to a debate on our live blog last week, with some suggesting it was inflammatory. 

Speaking to road.cc editor Jack, Lauren O'Brien felt that in spite of the allegedly divisive title, the episode was generally balanced and presented factual information fairly. 

"I feel like [the show] was more on my side than his side. If there was a winner… I’d like to think it was the cycling side!" she said. 

Do debates like this lead to progression, or just drag up disagreements that are already there? Was cycling fairly represented on the show? Tune in for a fascinating behind-the-scenes discussion. 

indieVelo in-game play - indievelo

In part 2, Dave sits down with George Gilbert, the founder of fledgling indoor cycling platform IndieVelo, and e-sports journalist Christopher Schwenker to discuss the progression of indoor cycling, and Indievelo itself. What can be done to take cycling e-sports to the next level at the elite level, and where is virtual cycling heading for the rest of us? If you’re partial to riding indoors, this chat is well worth a listen.

PS: You may have also seen Tony’s blog about our decision to stop flying out to bike/product launches, and there’s a bit of an explainer from George on this between our two main segments. Enjoy!

The road.cc Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music, and if you have an Alexa you can just tell it to play the road.cc Podcast. It’s also embedded further up the page, so you can just press play.

This content has been added by a member of the road.cc staff

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24 comments

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David9694 | 1 month ago
0 likes

If, as journalists tend to do, you normalise a daily shit show such as the so-called school run, then with the introduction of measures like School Streets you can report this but you've then got your "two sides to the argument" sub-heading "but not everyone is happy". 
 

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eburtthebike | 2 months ago
1 like

Whilst this wasn't as bad as it could have been, the Today prog on R4 interviewed Matt Briggs again this morning, and it was awful.

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David9694 replied to eburtthebike | 1 month ago
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The gist?

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NotNigel | 2 months ago
5 likes

An article promoting cycling on Hull Live today....with a little survey thrown in.

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/drypool-br...

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polainm replied to NotNigel | 1 month ago
0 likes

What is wrong with so many non-cyclists in the UK?

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mdavidford replied to polainm | 1 month ago
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And that's not even counting the people who thought, say, helmets and insurance should be mandatory, but not the others, who will have gone away confused after spending ten minutes selecting one, and then the other, and then the other...

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brooksby | 2 months ago
1 like

Dear "member of the road.cc staff" - is there any chance you could publish a transcript of this episode? - thanks!

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essexian | 2 months ago
5 likes

BBC News.... or as its also known: "The media wing of the Tory party."

Time to defund the BBC News via the licence fee. If you want Tory propoganda, either buy a subscription or watch adverts. I see no reason why I should have to pay when I don't watch their far right nonsense.  You want it.... you pay!

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Dnnnnnn replied to essexian | 2 months ago
3 likes
essexian wrote:

their far right nonsense

Which BBC far right nonsense aren't you watching?

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essexian replied to Dnnnnnn | 2 months ago
0 likes

BBC News. Its easy to find: sadly. 

 

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brooksby replied to essexian | 2 months ago
9 likes
essexian wrote:

BBC News.... or as its also known: "The media wing of the Tory party."

Time to defund the BBC News via the licence fee. If you want Tory propoganda, either buy a subscription or watch adverts. I see no reason why I should have to pay when I don't watch their far right nonsense.  You want it.... you pay!

Except that the Tories want to defund it because they think it is biased AGAINST them.

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Sriracha replied to essexian | 2 months ago
6 likes
essexian wrote:

BBC News.... or as its also known: "The media wing of the Tory party."

Haha, try floating that notion in The Torygraph!

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OldRidgeback replied to essexian | 2 months ago
9 likes

The BBC is by no means perfect but I travel out of the UK a lot and see TV overseas and I can tell you I would rather have the BBC's TV output than any of the TV stations I've seen in the last two months in France, the Netherlands, Italy and the US. And that's without mentioning the BBC's excellent radio output, which I'm listening to now (R6). The licence fee is very cheap if you compare it to Sky or Netflix for example. If you ask me, there's a seriously dangerous right wing cabal pressing to defund the BBC and that's far, far more insidious than any links to the BBC and whichever party is in government.

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ktache replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
8 likes

The Cure, 1989 day was fantastic, what little I got to hear.
I think the BBC is wonderful, not perfect, but I'm so glad we have it.

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OldRidgeback replied to ktache | 2 months ago
1 like

Yes indeed, 89 was a great year for music and it was good to hear so many excellent tracks being played. I listen to R6 a lot.

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essexian replied to ktache | 2 months ago
1 like

Currently listening to 6 Music and will be doing so for at least a couple more hours. its great and so is the sports coverage on Five live. Its the BBC News I have an issue with.

Just look at their bais coverage of the recent local elections to know that they are simply a Tory supporting organisation. If you want them, fine. Please accept adverts to pay for the news and let the licence fee go on Sports and proper music.

BBC News is not fit for purpose.

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john_smith replied to OldRidgeback | 2 months ago
2 likes

Maybe BBC tv news has changed recently, but when I last watched it, I thought it was quite poor compared with the news programmes on Dutch tv (at least NOS or whatever it is on the three main channels). I found it to be lacking in detail and background and thought it seemed rather parochial and one-sided. I certainly don't think the BBC should be "defunded" though.

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Mark 1968 | 2 months ago
2 likes

the press in this country is so bias, because it's cool to be anti cycling. instead of getting behind something that solves many of modern day lifes problems.

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Patrick9-32 replied to Mark 1968 | 2 months ago
12 likes

Economy: Improved by cycling as cyclists tend to shop more often and spend more locally rather than sending their money abroad, improving tax spend

NHS: Improved by cycling as cyclists tend to have less illness

Traffic: improved by cycling as cyclists take up less space on the road

Environment: Improved by cycling as cyclists produce less emissions

Equality: Improved by cycling as its cheap compared to driving

The government: "WhY IS tHeRE a WAr oN mOToRiSTS?? (That, even if it existed, we would have overseen over the last 15 years...)"

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chrisonabike replied to Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
11 likes

You forgot:

Places: improved by cycling as urban areas aren't loud, motor vehicles (including electric ones at say 20mph and above) are loud.  Facilitating a very convenient local travel mode (far more efficient than walking) can - over the longer term, with the help of other measures - assist in creating local areas which are vibrant, as opposed to giant estates or lifeless dormitory towns and suburbs.

Local Connectivity: improved by cycling as it's way more efficient than walking and you can carry more.  Also with another personal, private transport mode the volume of motor traffic can be reduced.  As that occurs we should also be able to reduce the size of roads.  That, and reducing speed limits make it easier and safer to cross roads thus reduce local barriers to (active) travel

Accessibility: improved by cycling because the real dangers and obstacles to people with disabilities or sight impediments (or even hearing issues) are motor vehicles.  Note: this needs a careful, partnership approach.  Currently many people with disabilities are so marginalised by effectively hostile public infra - or just crowded out or pushed to the back of the queue by those with fewer issues - that any change is a concern.  Also the specifics of infrastructure design and how areas with cyclists are marked are also valid concerns.  However good cycle infra (and active travel infra generally) can be an enabler for those who may have trouble driving.

Independent mobility for children and older people: see accessibility above.

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EricP replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
3 likes

And land take: footprint of residential areas could be less, which decreases hard standing, decreasing surface water flood risk, improving river water quality, improving habitats.

Less emissions: less noise and less air pollution. Less mining of exotic materials for manufacturing. Less road surface wear... etc etc. 

The risk is when anyone says "less" it is heard as 'damaging to the economy' - which has been built to serve the demand.

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mctrials23 replied to Mark 1968 | 2 months ago
4 likes

Its nothing to do with being cool. Its popular. Its devisive. It gets strong responses from both sides of the argument. Basically its perfect for engagement. 

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Patrick9-32 replied to mctrials23 | 2 months ago
2 likes

Nobody knows what it means but its provocative!

Gets the people going!

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OldRidgeback replied to Mark 1968 | 2 months ago
1 like

It depends what you read. Try reading the Guardian.

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