We are all consumers of cycling journalism, and here at the Cafe, we likely consume considerably more media than the average fan. Who here doesn't read several cycling sites a day several times a day? Not surprisingly, questions about the quality of the reporting we read arise repeatedly in the course of our conversations about cycling. It's only natural, when the media so significantly intervenes in our experience of the sport.
In light of this on-going conversation, today's NY Velocity interview with Anthony Tan is a must-read. Before turning freelance, Tan wrote for CyclingNews and now publishes around the cycling media world. Tan does not hold back his criticisms of the "echo chamber" nature of some of the cycling media. "Right now, there's at least ten cycling sites who all publish very similar news, which, surprise surprise, often comes from very similar (read: THE SAME) sources," he tells NY Velocity. The Hamster Wheel nature of page-hit driven web writing also comes under fire from Tan, who describes the dynamic within the cycling media as "almost feral."
Always for an internet site, there is a constant battle to balance timeliness, page views, and quality. Certainly, striking that balance is something I think about often here at the Cafe (when I'm not google searching leopard print men, that is.) It can be difficult to carve out the time to write the long features that Tan calls for in this interview, when as an internet writer, you can't simply go dark for a week researching a story. As of now, the internet doesn't really measure quality, just quantity. Sometimes, those two things overlap, sometimes they don't.
Anyway, you should go read the article. And come back and share your reactions. Because that's what we do here.