Bicycle Advocacy Journalism

Background Reading

A thread was begun on the ChainLink Forum:

Posted by Asper K on February 13, 2015 at 9:14pm
I’ve read a couple of articles lately that bugged me. One was about how divvy bikes have been proven to be safer than regular bikes and the other made the point that bike riding is the best sport due to the wonders of positive psychology. Both used ‘science’ to support pro bike stances. In the case of divvy article, there’s no comparable data on hours ridden for personal bikes, so no conclusions can be drawn. In the case of the positive psychology article, the guy is basically listing his reasons for liking bike riding.

Hey, I like bike riding too. I even have a Divvy membership that I use all the time. But these articles aren’t any more scientific than the Creation Museum. It’s a point of view wrapped in dubious ‘science’ to promote a predetermined conclusion. At minimum, these articles should follow the tenets of advocacy journalism(per wikipedia).

That’s what I think. Now I’ll have a beer and relax.

  • Acknowledge your perspective up front.
  • Be truthful, accurate, and credible. Don’t spread propaganda, don’t take quotes or facts out of context, “don’t fabricate or falsify”, and “don’t judge or suppress vital facts or present half-truths”
  • Don’t give your opponents equal time, but don’t ignore them, either.
  • Explore arguments that challenge your perspective, and report embarrassing facts that support the opposition. Ask critical questions of people who agree with you.
  • Avoid slogans, ranting, and polemics. Instead, “articulate complex issues clearly and carefully.”
  • Be fair and thorough.
  • Make use of neutral sources to establish facts.


The reality is:

The Religion That Is The Urban Cycling Movement

The Religion That Is The Urban Cycling Movement