Help us follow the trail…
The relationship between the industry and the media fell into sharp focus on here recently, but sometimes there is a more mundane reason for editors quietly shunting a complex story to one side. Investigative reporting is prone to being horrendously time consuming – apart from the sheer number of man hours involved, investigations may abruptly lurch into territories about which the journalist knows little or nothing, meaning (for example) that expert third party services are required in order to interpret documentation.
BG was set up with the idea of pursuing relevant stories which, for a variety of reasons, were unlikely to see the full light of day elsewhere. This dictum applies to to a wide range of features, not just the heavy stuff. For the VISION series we undertook our own research involving 180 bikers, and still regard the results (and the implications) as being the single most significant thing we’ve published. LEATHER BOY was turned down elsewhere – exploring the link between bikes, bikers and gay culture was deemed ‘too challenging’ for the readers of a well known bike magazine.
We currently have two investigative stories on our hands – one of which has repercussions which extend way beyond Planet Bike – but a major monthly whom we approached in an attempt to shed or share the load turned us down flat. There was simply no way they could justify either a staffer or a freelancer working for a minimum of six weeks on any story, however sensational the likely outcome. So we have to find a way to run them on here.
We always publish details of contributions and periodically update them. Nearly all our support comes courtesy of equipment donated for testing and evaluation, which is incredibly helpful. However, we’re hard pushed to cope with the demands made by serious, ongoing investigations. Demands which mean we would not pursue the stories unless we were certain that they fully merited the time involved. Times are tough for a lot of people out there, but if there is any way you can support us by donation or sponsoring a story, you are massively helping us illuminate where the sun don’t shine. It’s not going to be pretty, but sometimes you have to take a look….