Oregon Manifest in the Oregonian
If you’re already a cyclist in Portland, it was pretty hard to miss the start of Oregon Manifest this past weekend. Tony Pereira’s entry into the design competition stole the hearts of judges and visitors alike and it was no surprise when they announced him as the winner.
I covered the event for the Oregonian (it ran in today’s paper – on the front page of Metro, I believe) despite being semi-delirious with a sweet little flu that sidelined me for the weekend’s cyclocross opener. You can read the story online here. For the record, though I do have a regular column in the Outdoors section, I am not employed by the Oregonian. I’m a freelancer.
I wanted to take a minute here to say that I don’t select the photography or write the headlines for my articles. Often, with my columns I have a little bit of input for the photography (or shoot it myself), but headlines are written by headline-writing experts.
The photo select for this particular story is pretty interesting. On the one hand, this is journalism and that photo depicts what really happened. There was beer and bikes and a race. Tony did celebrate the end of his ride and he really did look just that good doing it.
On the other hand, it’s an open invitation for some of the notoriously vicious Oregonian readers to completely disregard the article, the event, and the intent – and focus instead on a lack of helmet, the presence of a beer, etc. Was the photo selected for the sake of sparking controversy? I can’t tell you. I didn’t choose it. But I’ll admit to wondering about that myself.
Most of the dialogue in the comments section isn’t really worth reading and I’ve been blogging long enough to understand the effect that offering people a public soapbox with guaranteed anonymity can bring. I think it’s good for us all to keep talking about cycling and addressing the rifts that exist in our city and our state, but I’m pretty sure that the comments section of any online environment is not the place that the most effective conversations are going to happen.