Big brother is reading
THE OLD SAYING that news travels fast is more pertinent now than it’s ever been. In this day and age, you can read the news instantly, long before it has hit the newsstands. Online publishing has revolutionised the media industry, giving you the news the day before your morning newspaper is delivered. It hasn’t yet reached the point where you can read tomorrow’s race results the day before and race down to the local TAB to back a sure thing – but maybe that’s on its way too.
Owner//Driver too has embraced technological change. Many of the stories on our website – www.ownerdriver. com.au – feature up-to-date developments in the transport industry, as well as previews of what’s coming up in next month’s print edition.
That’s great for those working within the road transport industry, although there are still plenty out there who prefer the traditional print format.
What’s surprising, even flattering I guess, is that the police and road authorities appear also to be avid readers of Owner//Driver and its website. Not because they admire the new and well-preserved shiny rigs, or a desire to read about the characters in the industry, or how many trucks turned up to the latest charity convoy, or the pertinent views of columnists. They’re unlikely to be concerned with when a new model such as the Mack Anthem will be released in Australia.
On the contrary, it appears the boys and girls in blue (or whatever coloured uniform they wear in going about their business) have other motives for reading through the print and web pages of Owner//Driver.
Recently, a glitch appeared in an online story posted on www.ownerdriver.com.au indicating that a truck owner’s rig was a newer model than it actually was. Unfortunately, typographical errors are part and parcel of online media these days.
You only have to look at the mainstream media news sites to discover incorrect spelling of names and places – not to mention poor grammar.
At Owner//Driver, we strive to keep those errors to a bare minimum. However, on this one occasion, placing the wrong year model on a truck sent a certain state’s authorities into a flurry.
The short story is, the truck owner was pulled up and given the once over by over-zealous authorities. They had read the article on our website, reportedly admitting that they “keep an eye on this sort of stuff”, and assumed the truck was not running with legal ADR requirements. On discovering the truck’s correct year model, the apparently disappointed officers failed to find a reason to issue a fine, but supposedly said to the owner that they were “still looking into it”.
Now, we wouldn’t want truck owners or drivers to shy away from appearing in these pages in fear of receiving unwanted attention down the track, but it’s heartening to know that our readership reaches much further afield than those who it is intended for – which is those simply going about their business and trying to earn a living from this great industry.