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Letters to the editor: Good journalism is geared to the readers, not influencers

Dear Editor, 
Social learning theory proposes that most people become motivated to commit misdemeanors, maladaptive behaviors and/or crimes among those whom they associate. Many of us raised in poor sections of industrial towns and living among fellow immigrants, find survival behaviors trump social graces. Such learned behaviors extend into adulthood. When someone commits a negative behavior contrary to the law, it is an obligation to report it to the proper authority. The issue of “reporting such behaviors” becomes more complicated when writing articles for public readers.

Living the RV lifestyle, witnessing many incidents of malfeasance, malpractice and misappropriation, becomes an occasional annoyance. However, writing about it moves the process from objectivism to subjectivism. Writing about controversial issues can be concealed in a generic manner by stating the issue without specifying “who, when and where.” On the other hand, when the issue is so egregious, blatant and recurring, it should be confronted directly with the person, company or organization. If that does not resolve the situation, then cooperating with law enforcement, simultaneous reporting is warranted. Reporting the facts as they become public is legal and necessary. Even if the guilty party seeks retribution. But what if the guilty party is an advertiser supporting a publication?

For every advertiser, there are many competitors. The RV industry is multi-faceted, diverse and constantly evolving. Having one advertiser (or group of advertisers) upset because its defects were discovered and reported, does not make a significant dent in any industry. On the contrary, the industry is better off knowing and understanding the problem within its boundaries. RVtravel.com is the most widely read, independent reporting in the world of RVing. For every negative statement directed toward the publication, it is offset by an assembly of admirers and supporters.

There will always be pressures from politics, groups, companies, etc. Good journalism, be it actual reporting of facts, critical analysis, personal opinions or comedy, should be geared to the reader, not powerful influencers. Tell the readers what is occurring, how you interpret what you observe and provide your opinions. I write about what interests me, from a psychoanalytic perspective, assuming there are some who think similarly. You publish that which interests RVers in general. We do what we do, not because we are forced to by people in power, but to reach the public with similar interest.

—Lou 

##RVT1020

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wolfe
24 days ago

I must bear antipathy for, and dissention with the pessimism of your initial declaration contrary to the malfeasant singleton, but I applaud your vocabulary… 😀

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
24 days ago
Reply to  wolfe

Show off! 😆 Have a great day, Wolfe. 🙂 –Diane

TIM MCRAE
24 days ago

Not sure how / why you link individual maladaption to kudos for RV Travel, but still I agree with your conclusion ince I got to it.

However, “Social learning theory proposes that most people become motivated to commit misdemeanors, maladaptive behaviors and/or crimes among those whom they associate.”

is total bunk! Words matter and these words are meaningless crap. I don’t think I need to point out why, but I will if anyone is interested in what one of ‘most people’ thinks!

Lou Finkle
24 days ago
Reply to  TIM MCRAE

Actually, social psychology has become one of the major divisions in the field! The studies conducted on social learning appear to be corroborated in many instances. To assume that most people “are NOT motivated to commit misdemeanors, maladaptive behaviors and/or crimes” may be the “bunk” to which you refer. Such exhibition of saintly, flawless behaviors have rarely been verified. In 40+ years of practice, no clients or patients have reached such perfection … before, during, or after intervention. For the remainder of the population … “to err is human.”

TIM MCRAE
23 days ago
Reply to  Lou Finkle

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. In your years of experience what percentage of the entire population did you treat? Is it reasonable to assume that people who you treated were different from those you did not.

My biggest concern is the use of the word ‘most’. I think society tells us we shouldn’t use absolutes in any discussion.

I also noticed your opening statement was a ‘proposal’ of a ‘theory’. Both of those words make the statement an opinion or thesis (unproven). That is good and makes for a discussion. However, the way you used the statement the tone was that of a statement of fact. I think most people could miss that nuance and be misled.

Just my opinion. Thanks

T Edwards
24 days ago

Lou, well put.
I worked most of my career in quality. Many of those years meeting tough automotive quality standards. We remember the lemon car ’70s and the effect that had on replacing poor quality American cars with high quality, lower cost Japanese models. The RV manufacturers appear to have let quality slip and focus more on volume and increasing their bottom line.
While my 6 year old 5th wheel suffered no major defects, there are a few fit and finish issues that need attending to, most are trim pieces jarred loose as a result of subjecting it to earthquake conditions driving down our poorly maintained highways.
Our 12 year old Scion with 10X the miles of the RV is in “like new” condition having driven these same roads. Toyota made it to high quality standards in a factory half way around the world and sold it at a lower price than a comparable U.S. made car. It may take a similar foreign made RV to shake up the RV industry.

Ran
24 days ago

Good article. Thanks for keeping up the good work! Keep it positive, because there’s too many negatives out there trying to slow us down!