If you’re not already listening, we’d like to warmly recommend the ‘Active Travel Podcast‘ from the Active Travel Academy’s (ATA) Dr Rachel Aldred and journalist Laura Laker. All episodes are worth hearing but we’d like to particularly recommend the ones on media reporting (which is highly relevant to our Road Justice work), on cycling for everyone (another campaign theme), and on low traffic neighbourhoods (our Liveable Neighbourhoods campaign).
Media reporting of Active Travel
The way cycling and collisions are reported can dramatically affect how the public perceives blame. Sentence focus is usually on pedestrians/cyclists and less so driver fault, or even involvement, is overlooked often. Studies show that articles which describe drivers hitting people rather than “an accident involving a pedestrian” encouraged people to be more interested in solutions to improve road safety and acknowledge bad driving. This episode covers:
Discussion with the authors of a research paper Does news coverage of traffic crashes affect perceived blame and preferred solutions? Evidence from an experiment. Our guests answer that question and discuss how, when it comes to news reporting of road collisions, framing is everything.
In the second half of the podcast, Cristina Caimotto, (University of Turin), speaks from Italy about her new book Discourses of Cycling, Road Users and Sustainability. An Ecolinguistic Investigation. Much of the language we use is subconscious, and that applies to journalists too. Cristina’s analysis of media reporting of the death of Kim Briggs is startling and eye-opening – she discusses whether there are parallels with racist discourse on reporting of this issue, and why we need a new way of talking about the environment
Cycling for Everyone: how we get there
This episode discusses Sustrans’ and Arup’s 2020 report, Cycling for Everyone, was published at a time when both the Black Lives Matter movement and the active travel movement are at the forefront of public discussion. This identifies through interviews, data and analysis who is cycling, but also crucially, who isn’t, why, and how greater diversity in cycling can be achieved.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – latest evidence from the People and Places study
In LTNs short car journeys become longer, while walking and cycling are made more pleasant by reduced interactions with motor traffic. These factors combine to change behaviour – not just for cycling, but for walking, too.