RV industry media does lousy job of reporting

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By Chuck Woodbury
Something is on my mind that I must get off my chest. It’s about a major incident in the RV industry that was so poorly reported that it would make any journalism professor’s blood boil.

Last week, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) held its inaugural RVX convention in Salt Lake City. The industry’s annual show for decades in Louisville, which was a major money-maker for RVIA, had run its course. The association needs to earn its keep so it came up with RVX, which some attendees thought was great and others thought was a waste of time and energy.

RV industry media does lousy job of reporting

While the show was underway, a major incident occurred in Elkhart, Indiana, the “RV Capital of the World.” A Forest River manufacturing plant exploded and burned to the ground. You’d think the RV industry media would jump all over that, right?

But all the RV industry publications/websites did was gush about RVX. The only reporting of the plant explosion was aggregated from local papers and TV stations in the South Bend/Elkhart area. And, this is what I find incredulous — not a single account of the incident that I could find even mentioned what RV was produced at the factory! Does that seem wrong to you?


In any journalism class such incomplete reporting would have received an “F” for failing to include a critical element to the story. At RVtravel.com we made a few calls and learned the factory made Vibe trailers. How hard was that?

If the explosion occurred in an automotive town, would Automotive News, the leading auto industry news organization, simply reprint an article from a local newspaper and not even pick up the phone to learn what product was manufactured at the plant? No way!

Am I the only person who’s disappointed in such crummy reporting?

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Rory R

Being that it was a Forest River Plant, could it be that most of the journalist are former or worse yet current FR owners. How’s that for tongue-in-cheek…

Joseph Yake

It seems to me that the behavior you’ve described better addresses motivation than ability. The behavior is that of a publicist or PR person, rather than that of a professionally ethical journalist.

Of course, that brings into focus RVIA’s real motivation, which doesn’t really appear to be promotion of the industry as opposed to preservation if its’ own organization. Pfui!

Frank 🙂