Big brother is read­ing

Owner Driver - - Behind The Wheel - Greg Bush

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.

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