IrishCycle.com is focused on news and analysis on cycling for transport and greenways in Ireland. We are running this survey to get an idea of the level of potential support for our independent journalism.
Some readers will notice that this is mainly a re-run of a previous survey — we’d really appreciate it if you could answer the questions again. It is needed to draw up a business plan and apply for a Short-Term Enterprise Allowance.
Up to now, IrishCycle.com has been updated on a part-time basis, which is not only time consuming but it also does not allow for the coverage that cycling in Ireland deserves and needs.
There are a number of examples out there of reader-funded or listener-funded journalism, including the local Dublin Inquirer newspaper, the Second Captains podcast and, in the UK, The Guardian newspaper, which has looked to keep their content open access while still attracting reader support. In terms of cycling, there’s the US-based BikePortland.org which has a similar population base and is viewed by some as one of the best localised bicycle sites going.
In 2020, IrishCycle.com had an average of 21,000 readers per month — it’s not massive but as well as having readers who just cycle to work, IrishCycle.com also reaches politicians, council officials, campaigners and others. It would also take a fraction of readers (~5%) supporting our journalism to keep the site running in the long run and its journalism open to all.
What’s needed for higher quality coverage? Time mostly. Time to contact and talk to people and government bodies about stories, to follow up leads, to develop news and feature stories, to keep the statistics section up-to-date, and to arrange guest comment articles.
It would also allow for more time to write and follow up on detailed investigations, for example, those using Freedom of Information requests, requiring travel around the country, and our on-going research into the deaths of people who were killed while cycling and to track these cases to the courts and Coroners courts.
The reader funding should be enough for a freelance budget and hopefully cover paying for a second staff member as the website grows.
The future of IrishCycle.com will be shaped by the responses received in this survey.
Subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).
If you can help push IrishCycle.com above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!
Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.
IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers