Gotcha journalism a bane to trucking

Last month, I received an email from a distressed reader who was upset over the treatment by local news media of a regional carrier after a deadly accident involving a truck and a passenger car on I-4 in Florida. According to police, the truck driver may have been using a handheld phone at the time of the accident.
The news report – in an attempt to put the trucking company in the worst light imaginable – shows an image of the fiery wreck and flashes details the carrier’s violations on the screen in big red numbers in an effort to paint the company in the worst possible light.
I got curious and looked up the carrier’s CSA safety performance, and lo and behold, it turns out they are one of the safest carriers in the industry with excellent SMS results in every category. But thanks to a sensationalized news piece, they were branded as an outlaw trucking company in the mind of the public (at least those that watched the news that night).
I should also point out that the piece that followed this story was of a south Florida woman who claims an image of Jesus was visible in her shower mold. Pulitzer stuff, huh?
This unfortunate scenario is repeated all across the country and the trucking industry continues to take blow after blow, whether deserved or not. Repairing the industry’s image is an uphill battle, but it is one worth fighting. We at CCJ would love to hear how your company is working to create a positive image in your communities. Email me at jcrissey@rrpub.com.