Why we need media reporting guidelines for road safety | The Guardian
Martin PorterLast modified on Mon 28 Sep 2020 12.02 BST
There’s a problem with how we talk about our roads. From news reports on “accidents” to who gets blamed for road danger in comment pieces, our media sources sometimes flip the sources of death and injury on their head.
Language and accuracy matter, and too often reporting contributes to making the roads less safe.
That’s why the Active Travel Academy has drafted media reporting guidelines which we hope broadcasters and publishers will adopt, just as they have adopted guidelines for reporting on suicide or domestic violence.
There is excellent reporting out there – , but there is also less thoughtful output. For example, the majority (61%) of coverage of cyclists is broadly negative, focusing on road danger, criminality or bad behaviour, although studies have shown cyclists are generally far more law-abiding than motorists.