Channel 19

Todd Dills

Tale of two headlines

| September 25, 2008

Contrast these two headlines, both above stories detailing the group Truckers and Citizens of America‘s protest convoy to the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, Sept. 23:

“Trucker Protest Runs Out of Gas” –at the website of third-party-logistics focused magazine Traffic World

and

“Truckers Come Together to Protest Fuel Prices” –at the website of the Washington Post

While both stories are pretty even-handed, the headline of the first goes a little farther than just basic description of the story’s contents. To the credit of Traffic World, while the protest group had announced an expected 200 trucks and truckers to be participating, only a reported 20 were there in the end, and the organizers blamed the very situation they were protesting — high fuel prices and subsequent financial strain on independent owner-operators and the industry in general — for the low turnout. But if the headline were meant to be descriptive, it’s probably OK for us to expect a transport-focused magazine to get the fuel utilized by big trucks right, don’t you think? Last time I checked, most all big trucks ran on diesel.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to tdills@randallreilly.com or via phone at 205-907-2481.

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