Traffic safety and the media

This is an interesting item that I thought was worth some recognition from those of us in the transportation communications community.

The American Traffic Safety Services Association is asking transportation officials to nominate a reporter or news organization that has exhibited fairness, a sense of balance, and an informative perspective on transportation issues for its new National Media Award.

The National Media Award was created by ATSSA as a way to recognize those reporters and news entities that go above and beyond in attempting to create a balanced transportation piece via radio, television, newspaper, or the web on a local or state level. The award will be presented during the opening session of ATSSA’s 43rd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, held Feb. 22-26 in San Diego.

Some might wonder whether nominating a reporter or news organization might be going too far in developing a relationship with the media. After all, media should be independent and fair and balanced – not swayed by the influences of our PR powers. 

That is certainly true. But the media also is another way of saying “people who make the news.” And we probably should find a way to show appreciation for “people” who recognize that traffic safety is a non-partisan humanitarian issue. It is not political. Raising awareness for traffic safety is about caring for our communities and the people who live in them. 

There is that word again: People. Sense a theme? 

No doubt the good folks at ATSSA will try to spin gold out the award effort. However, along the way, they also are bound to recognize some good people in the media who just might appreciate the acknowledgement that sometimes stories transcend the “us vs. them” and instead just focus on the “us.” 

What makes “us” safer, what helps “us” get home to our families. What makes “us” all on the same team.

If you want to nominate a reporter or news organization, fill out the nomination form and email it to ATSSA Communications Director James Barron by Friday, Nov. 2.

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Author: Lloyd Brown

I am the director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I enjoy running marathons and triathlons, playing guitar and spending time with family. My professional interest is in how social media and new technology shapes the communication relationship between government and the general public. I have a Master’s degree in Communications and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.

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