Imagine reading a feature story in The New York Times and discovering it was written by the staff of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. How objective do you think the article would be? And what would happen to the newspaper's reputation and readership if it became known that feature articles were written by people making news, not covering it? Let's bring it closer to home. Do you think that anyone in airport management would be allowed to write feature stories for local or metro newspapers? Hardly!
Now I'm not talking op/ed pieces like this column or our Industry Insider. They are a different animal and serve a different purpose. I'm talking about feature articles.
It's no accident that newspapers don't let newsmakers write the news. There are issues of research, time, credibility, balance and ultimately publication readership. The same should be said for credible industry and business-to-business publications. Articles need the objectivity, balance and research provided by professional writers, not industry suppliers or consultants.
Airport Improvement has always subscribed to the journalistic notion that we absolutely need input from airport executives, department personnel, consultants, suppliers, government officials and others. But this need is in the form of information and interviews, not writing. We need their information and expertise to create well-balanced and informative articles. Our team of more than a dozen writers is trained to write. They provide the time, research, interviews and wordsmithing talent to provide objective and relevant stories. Self-promotion is simply not an issue.
Do we want the industry's input about ideas and information for stories? You bet! We solicit them all day long. But please, the left seat on this plane is saved for objective staff writers.