While covering social impact in Philadelphia at Generocity.org, I have learned that media coverage is a scarce resource despite countless blogs, publications and news sites. There are still so many problems — and ways of dealing with them — that the media can’t afford to cover them all equally. This means some subjects get a shallow or even distorted representation in the news.
Cycling is among the issues which has recently risen in importance but could still use a boost in terms of getting the in-depth coverage it deserves as a major factor in how our city is changing.
With that mind, myself and a small team of Philly-based writers, editors, marketers and designers decided to launch SPOKE magazine, a free quarterly print publication about cycling in Philadelphia. SPOKE will cover cycling with a wide lens, looking at its culture, people, politics and infrastructure.
Issue One is finished (check out a preview here). Right now we are just raising some of the money on Indiegogo to print. The SPOKE team, which is all volunteer, had to use a mixture of advertising and crowdfunding to get the money for printing. In the future, we hope to use advertising and events to pay for printing and contributors.
Cycling deserves a devoted news source. Already, some excellent blogs and news sites (Plan Philly, This Old City, Next City, Grid, this site) touch upon cycling in their coverage. But we need to take it a step further and give people another opportunity to learn about a subject that is changing the face of their city.
Soon, SPOKE will be sitting alongside other free print publications in coffee shops, bars, bike shops and co-working spaces. My hope is that people can pick up a copy and walk away with a resource for understanding an important issue.
Photo and featured image via SPOKE magazine-30-
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