In Praise Of… News International (Yes, Really!)

If you have signed up to The Times’ Cities Fit For Cycling campaign, you will have just received another email from the editor of the newspaper, James Harding;

Dear Reader

How far cycling has come since we started the Cities fit for Cycling campaign less than six months ago.

Last week, a parliamentary select committee called for the Government to use ourย eight point manifestoย to make the UK safer for cycling andย Transport for London announcedย that fifty of the most dangerous road junctions in the capital will be improved over the next 18 months.

This followed theย news last monthย that ยฃ15 million of funding will be allocated to improve hazardous junctions outside London. Both these developments have come about from your support and we thank you for that.

On top of that we now have the first British winner of the Tour de France after Bradley Wiggins’ fantastic performance in the Alps and are just days away from the Olympics when we expect further medals in the velodrome and on the road. You can find all ourย cycling coverage here...

Thank you once again for your support.

James Harding Signature

James Harding
Editor ofย The Times

It’s fair to say that the media, in particular the newspapers and in particular News International, owners of The Times have been in for a bit of (justified) stick over the last couple of years. That, however, shouldn’t stop us recognising the fact that The Times has been a positive influence upon the changing environment in Britain for the cyclist. They are by no means the only one; others have done much more over a much longer period of time (and no doubt some of the cynics would accuse The Times of jumping on a bandwagon of changing attitudes towards cyclists) but they have used their position as one of the main newspapers of record of this country to bring about the start of some long-lasting changes.

It’s also worth pointing out that one of the other positive influences upon the state of cycling in this country is Sky. Mr Murdoch only owns a minority share of the satellite broadcaster but they tend to get lumped into the ‘evil empire’ along with The Times, The Sun & now defunct News Of The World. Through their investment in pro-cycling, Bradley Wiggins was able to find a home for his talents with deep pockets and even broader ambitions. And remember that their support is not just for the elite of the cycling world; through their Sky Rides they are also there at the grass-roots level as well.

So yes, give News International a good kicking for their unscrupulous journalistic practices but don’t forget that they can be a force for good. Just saying…

Categories: Cycling

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What do you think?