End of a publishing era

End of a publishing era

Most enthusiasts of off-road bike sport will be aware by now that the sport’s “bible” for the past 45 years is no more with Trials and Motocross News  – TMX – having been published for the final time last Thursday.

We understand that it came as a shock announcement by the owners, a national newspaper group, and it looks as if the staff and freelance correspondents are no longer required. We consider this to be a great loss to the sport and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any viable option of a similar publication being considered.

Only Trial Magazine, Classic Trial Magazine and Dirt Bike Rider continue to exist in the UK, which means that in the future, news, whether it be International, National or local will only be available via websites such as this one or through social media. Neither are considered ideal, social media is haphazard but at least websites are available to anybody with a suitable device and internet connection and remain stable.

Thanks to the foresight of the Northern Centre board, this site has been created and we consider it to be well established, and whilst its function is primarily to cover happenings in the Northern Centre, in future it seems prudent now to cover international and national news that is relevant to those who are based in Cumbria – by which we mean information about dates etc, certainly not external reports, reviews, tests, comments or other material used to fill the pages of newspapers.

Here in the north three freelance journalists have been long time contributors to TMX. Photographer Eric Kitchen worked for the paper from the very first pre-publication issue back in early 1977; Mike Rapley had his words in every issue of the paper from the first until he left some 22 years later whilst John Dickinson joined full time a couple of years in and despite retiring some years ago remained a freelance correspondent and columnist right up until the very last issue last week. Which means that here in the north, there’s lots of journalistic knowledge to make use of.

Closing TMX is a significant loss to the sport but to some extent was inevitable, though definitely unexpected. The sport has enjoyed 45+ years of unrivalled information but it is to be hoped that at some point in the future, an alternative may be found.