Friday, June 29, 2007

Media Accident Reporting Omits Trucking Company Names

Relative to the tragic crash in New York this week where five recent high school graduate girls died in a fiery collision with a tractor trailer rig, my bone of contention here hardly registers. That said, I have an observation to share about truck accident reporting.

When accidents like this one occur the national media and trade press generally fail to include the name of the trucking company in the story. Yet at the same time they almost always provide the name of the truck driver. That's akin to reporting the name of the pilot in a commercial airline crash without making reference to the airline. Ridiculous.

Granted airlines have name recognition where trucking companies generally do not. Granted also, most journalists are lazy. These givens aside the omission of the trucking company's name leaves the story incomplete - not just for those of us who follow the trucking industry, but also for the public at large. After all the public shares the highways with all trucking companies. And not all trucking companies are equal. How else can the public make assessments about the good ones from the bad?

Ironically, you can always count on the trucking industry to whine about media bias and unfair reporting. Chalk it up to media lassitude. While preliminary reports do not fault the trucker in the New York accident, some trucking company has avoided mention in this very ugly story. I just wish I knew which one.

Thanks for checking in...

Ed Campbell, III

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