Editor’s Note: Timing is Everything - Tire Review Magazine

Editor’s Note: Timing is Everything

There is one absolute truth in the publishing business: Deadlines will kill you.

And the threat grows exponentially as the gap in those deadlines increases.

Daily newspapers, for example, can correct any miscues the very next day. Online publishers can make changes virtually on the fly. Monthly magazines, however, face a 30-day gap, a period we bravely gut out hoping that something in a particular issue is not torpedoed by changing events.

It is the nature of the beast, these 12 monthly deadlines, and 99% of the time the deadlines pose no problems. The 30 days go by and world events – we are in a global industry, after all – leave our monthly paper magazine undisturbed.

Unfortunately, that 1% will come sooner or later. And we just had one.

Our August 2008 issue went to the printer on Aug. 8. It includes a lengthy feature story about Double Coin Holdings and its China Manufacturers Alliance subsidiary taken from our recent visit to DCH’s facilities in China. That visit included a lengthy interview with Fan Xian, chairman of DCH and a chief driver of that company’s global growth, information from which was included in that story.

On Aug. 12 – past the point of no return – we were alerted to information that Fan had been removed from his DCH position and replaced, as well as unconfirmed reports that Fan had been “detained” by government officials under suspicion of some unnamed wrongdoing.

By the time we learned of Fan’s departure from DCH, we could not pull the issue back from the printer to update the information.

I learned a long time ago that you cannot trust the precision of news reports from certain places in the world. Government control and intervention plays a role in that, to be sure, but language is also a major problem. Words have different meanings in different places, even in English, based on the quality of the translation and the translator’s understanding of English.

You may hear various stories or rumors regarding this – or any story – from “reliable” sources. In all of the hundreds of news items we process each month, we try very hard to get all of the facts and present them as objectively as possible. With this particular story, we simply do not know all of the facts and have no real way to know the facts. No one really does.

Smart readers – and smarter reporters and editors – are always somewhat skeptical of the information presented to them. That’s why we always check things out before going to press.

Unfortunately we do not control time and had no control over this situation. However, that should not diminish the value of the information we offer in our upcoming August issue.

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