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Viewpoint: Trucknews.com launches new blogs

It seems just about every one with access to a computer is "blogging" these days. To borrow from Tom Hawthorn's tongue-in-cheek look at the practice in a recent issue of Reader's Digest "if you're inh...


Lou Smyrlis

Lou Smyrlis


It seems just about every one with access to a computer is “blogging” these days. To borrow from Tom Hawthorn’s tongue-in-cheek look at the practice in a recent issue of Reader’s Digest “if you’re inhaling oxygen, you’re on the Web with a blog and you’re telling the world about it.”

Well, we’re about to join the crowd, but, hopefully, with a difference.

Blogs from our entire editorial team is the next feature we will be adding to our Web site www.trucknews.com over the next few weeks. Why are we doing so? Because although there’s a tremendous deal of information that goes into this publication every month, there’s likely just as much that, for one reason or another, doesn’t ever get into print, and it should.

The reality is there’s a story behind many of the stories we print and it can be just as interesting and informative. We’re going to do our best to skip the rants which have become common fodder for many bloggers and focus on providing you with more information you can use. The insights gained by our editors, for example, while they research issues and speak to stakeholders; the many side issues raised during a tough industry debate, or the opinions formed by our editors on a variety of topics are all things we want to bring to you through our blogs.

This publication has always been blessed by a great deal of reader feedback. As a group, truckers are certainly not shy to voice their opinion. The letters to the editor we’ve been receiving in recent weeks about the Ontario Trucking Association’s controversial call for mandatory speed limiters is a prime example. But along the way we’ve wondered how this dialogue would grow if our readers had regular access to a wider range of information.

We hope our blogs will provide you with not only a rich new source of information but also the opportunity to let your opinions, advice and insights be heard by the industry.

With that in mind we will make it easy for readers to respond to our posts and to share their thoughts with the online community of www.trucknews.com. There are many important issues in trucking; but not everyone’s voice always gets heard. Those who have organized themselves in powerful lobby groups always have an easier time getting their message out. We want to create an online community that levels the playing field – where everyone’s voice can he heard and judged on its merits.

It may be difficult separating the wheat from the chaff in an online community grown fat with blog postings (the BlogsCanada Web site on its own carries about 10,000 blogs). But blogging has already scored a major triumph. Not long after veteran newsman Dan Rather went on CBS with a supposed expose of George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service record (or the lack of it) his shoddy reporting was in turn exposed by a swarm of bloggers who examined the documents used in the CBS report and found enough inconsistencies that CBS had to retract the report.

That’s the power of information sharing in action. And it’s worth it if it leads to more informed opinions and decision making.

– Lou Smyrlis can be reached by phone at (416) 510-6881 or by e-mail at lou@TransportationMedia.ca.


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