By Robert Lake
The movie industry has the Oscars, the music industry the Grammys and the television industry, the Emmys. What you may not know is that within the trade magazine industry, the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award is the most coveted of all editorial awards. And the editorial team of Truckers News snagged the big one.
Our editorial staff took home the Neal for its May 2004 article, “The Big Turnoff,” which investigated anti-idling laws and their effects on truck drivers. The Truckers News team combined good writing (Senior Editor Sean Kelley) fine editing (Editor Randy Grider, Executive Editor John Latta, Managing Editor Kristin Walters) and attractive design (Art Director Richard Street).
This comprehensive editorial package impressed the judges for many reasons including going the extra mile to get the story. Kelley traveled to Hunts Point in New York City in the dead of winter, where he talked to truckers about how anti-idling laws can make life extremely uncomfortable for drivers. He interviewed lawmakers and officials from environmental agencies. He gave readers a real-world sense of how this anti-idling push is affecting drivers’ lifestyles.
Our editorial team also recently learned it had racked up honors in this year’s American Society of Business Publication Editors Awards of Excellence competition. The idling story was recognized again in this awards competition. Equipment Editor John Baxter won a national award for his how-to article on oil analysis, “Blood Work for Your Engine” and a regional award for his technical article, “The Big Footprint,” about wide single tires. And I’m particularly proud of the regional award in the category of original research for John Latta’s “Highway Way of Life,” an in-depth look at the trucking lifestyle. We put money and effort into researching issues and problems you face so that our reporting on the subject contains the most up-to-date data available.
So, what’s the big deal about awards? And why am I patting the editors on the back for their accomplishments? Because in today’s competitive trucking industry there’s no room for error. Our editors understand how tough the trucking life is, and they work hard to bring you the relevant information you need. Four of them hold commercial driver’s licenses – one is going through the same aggravation you are trying to get her hazmat re-upped – and all of them go out to truckstops, ride with truckers and talk to people in the industry day in and day out.
While I’m impressed with our editorial team winning these awards, what I’m most proud of is their dedication to you, the reader.