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.