Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Boston Globe: Good News & Bad News

There were two articles in the Sunday Globe about cycling in Boston - one good, one perfectly atrocious.

The first was part of what appears to be a regular column (though I couldn't find it last week) called Shifting Gears. Based on the couple columns they've published so far, I'm enthusiastic. It's well-written and reasonably insightful, focusing on local policy and advocacy issues while still managing to appeal to a non-cycling (or, in many cases in this town anti-cycling) readership. This Sunday's column focused on Nicole Freedman, who is heading up the bike program for the City of Boston. It also mentions one of her first initiatives, the mapping program that uses Google Maps, which I contributed to when it was launched.

On the other hand, there was the piece in the Business section called On the trail of a good recreational bike. This was an insipid bit of fluff that really did nothing more than state that there are many choices for a recreational bike. It's unfocused and confused, a real hodgepodge of the quotes that the correspondent collected from his interviews. It starts by saying that you can spend as little as $100 on a new bike, and ends with a recommendation that a prospective buyer consider the appearance of a new bike. What really amazed me about this article was the 2 inches of white space after the last column. When is the last time anybody saw white space in a newspaper? This tells me that the corresponedent couldn't dredge up anything else to say, which is all the more surprising considering the paucity of actual information conveyed in what was published.

Nevertheless, I'm bolstered by the new Shifting Gears column and I eagerly look forward to the next one, whenever it might appear.

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