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Publisher’s Comment: Clark Kent would have been disgusted by Blair affair!

You may or may not have heard of Jayson Blair.If you haven't, Jayson worked as a reporter for the New York Times, until recently that is. Apparently, from all accounts, Jayson was carving out a career...



You may or may not have heard of Jayson Blair.

If you haven’t, Jayson worked as a reporter for the New York Times, until recently that is. Apparently, from all accounts, Jayson was carving out a career for himself by reporting fake stories (often backed up with fake quotes from real people, many of whom had never heard of him).

What’s really amazing is very few of these people actually complained about or questioned the legitimacy of what they were reading.

Maybe they were buying the Times to line their birdcages, or maybe they were too enthralled reading the comics to notice.

Regardless, it did happen.

A few weeks ago I was reading the Toronto Star and came upon an article written by Antonia Zerbisas, their media columnist.

Her point was that perhaps Jayson’s editors “ignored the complaints” because “they were perceived as annoying, irritating and time-consuming distractions.”

Indeed, this may have been the case.

Often we (and I mean all of us) perceive ourselves as being too busy or too important to deal with the trivial aspects of our jobs.

Who the hell wants to deal with complaints anyway?

Often, we’ll close our eyes and hope they’ll go away. (Speaking of complaints, the classic example around here is leaving the photocopier either jammed or out of paper, but I’ll save that for another time.)

I have been publishing business magazines for more than 23 years, the last three as publisher of Truck News, Truck West and Motortruck.

I’ve learned that a successful publication always listens to its readers.

Turn to page six in Truck News (page five in Truck West) and you’ll find our staff pictures, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

They’re there because we want to be accessible to you.

We pride ourselves on providing factual editorial.

We stay away from sensationalism and report both sides of an issue as accurately as possible.

Opinions are just that, opinions. You’ll find these reserved for our editorial comment columns.

The publicity that the Jayson Blair scandal received may actually be a blessing in disguise.

Editors everywhere will be double and triple checking their reporters’ sources.

Hopefully this will result in a more credible accounting of the facts.

Clark Kent would have been disgusted.

But then again, if Clark were around, this probably never would have happened in the first place.

That said, see you in Fergus!

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.


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