I saw your blog entry about the uninformed writer from the St. Catharines Standard (visit http://blogtn.trucknews.com/) and thought it was very interesting.
Of course, this kind of thing happens all the time, all across the country, so while it’s inexcusable, it’s not surprising. As software people coming from outside the industry, what we find interesting is the response to these kinds of articles. A number of us were discussing this internally and we were wondering why the industry doesn’t respond to these attacks more ferociously? If someone wrote a similar article slamming a minority group instead of truckers, the response would be immediate and unmistakable (think of the Danish cartoons about Mohammed). For that matter, if the article vilified lawyers or big pharma (possibly the only two groups more demonized than truck drivers!) the industry would be all over it with a massive campaign.
In trucking, we spend a lot of time talking amongst ourselves about all the good the industry does, and that’s an important tool to help keep people in the industry. However, other industries are much more proactive about getting their message out to the general public and trucking probably needs to do the same. How often do you see ads (print, TV, or radio) hyping accountants, big pharma (aka “Canada’s Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies”), dairy, beef, insurers, whatever? These guys know that they have to get their message out to the general public if they’re going to grow their industry and maybe trucking needs to do the same.
There’s a lot of good things that the industry does for the general public, but they’re almost never spoken of in the general media. One or two of us might write letters to the editor, but it won’t carry the same weight if it’s not backed up by an organized lobby. If there was a media watchdog group that publicly went crazy every time someone maligned trucking in the press, how quickly do you think those attacks would stop?
It’s not just the drivers that suffer as a result of the slings and arrows, all of us serving the industry get splattered by the fallout as well.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News