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CN Evolving

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New this fall at CyclingNews.com: opinions!

CN has long occupied something of a "worldwide leader" position in delivering the wherefores of cycling to an English language audience, sort of the website-of-record. Slowly-but-surely, however, they've been branching out into opinionated material, such as the team review capsules cranked out last week, and culminating in a feature running today: an actual editorial on everyone's favorite subject, the politics of doping controls

Have they ever run a "Cyclingnews Editorial" before? Maybe I'm making something of nothing, but I don't recall ever seeing one. In my mind, CN is relentlessly factual. They're not completely alone in this regard -- I spent 2007 lampooning the fact that none of the big news sites would conclude a race preview by saying who they thought would win. But CN was the strictest. This always struck me as a missed opportunity. OK, their brand is their brand, but once you had the facts, there was no reason to check back in on CN unless one of their interviews -- their primary form of original work -- caught your eye. And WRT the facts, their Australian publishing schedule meant that they wouldn't always be the first to hit the streets anymore. VeloNews, Cycling Weekly and others are in better synch with the American workday. And our little project here, very much led by Gavia but at times involving dozens of you, mines the European language press for interesting items in almost real time.

it's always been plain to me that opinion is what works. Look at the cable news outlets (if you dare): there's a reason you see so many bobbleheads. People don't stay glued to the CNN news ticker; they want to hear left- or right-wing bloviators, or better still, both of them, arguing it out. In the Cycling world, as with any other media sector, people are turning more to blogs, not because some idiot sitting on his duff in Seattle writing on a webpage knows more than they do, or even has "better opinions," but because it's fun.

CN has noticed, is my guess. A lot of their recent wrinkles have looked a tad familiar. But if they're adapting to the blog world, good for them, and us. CN is very connected, and they boast a worldwide lineup of established writers, so when they start down the trail toward opinion, it's likely to be worth reading. Their thing will always sharply differ from ours... somehow I doubt we'll see any posts on bad hair. But if they look more like VeloNews, a full-range magazine, with their focus trained on Europe, all the better.