Editorial: Clubhouse Chatter
Some of you out there know my shtick, borne of a truth about journalists, that I’m an old-fashioned whore. Feed me, water me (gin and tonics, please, or quality Scotch), and I can most likely be lured to an event. Or a conference. Possibly even to your college kid’s excruciatingly bad Poetry Slam debut (but that takes a lot of Scotch). In this age-old tradition, it’s understood that you can rent reporters’ time and attention, but you haven’t bought their soul and keyboard. Hey, please do call me up, or walk over and talk to me, and yes, we’ll fact-check, but no, you do not get to approve what I’m going to write first before it goes to print. Ever. It’s the same case for our reporters.
So as we’ve given our content a bit more edge over the past few months, it’s funny to discover that some people are under the mistaken impression that we’re an association magazine. Uh-uh. We’re a title for Rogers Publishing. We don’t shill for anyone, and our job is to report what we hear and see. Yes, sometimes we’ll be a cheerleader for the industry, but we’re also sometimes supposed to be Jiminy Cricket, plus maybe Zorro. At one of the countless cocktail events where I get to dip my bill, the subject of the associations and what value they offer began as the usual, casual whinging plus gossip plus jokes. But it got me thinking: it’s high time we tackled the subject. Not because we have any agenda—far from it. It’s because you out there are talking about it and are concerned about it, and I believe it would be irresponsible if we didn’t bring it out into the open. If we chose to ignore the issue, we really would be no better than an advertorial magazine, printing any news release that comes our way.
So if Terri Goveia’s article is provocative, good. That’s what you should come to expect from us by now. Her feature is ultimately about accountability and value, and that’s as important and newsworthy as the other subjects we regularly cover. We simply wanted to give a voice to brokers as we always do and start a discussion out in the open.
And now it’s up to you. We know that some people were skittish over this article. They didn’t want to talk to us. For the obvious career reasons in a business sector where almost everyone knows each other, and who can blame them? But even if we are a business mag, it’s our job sometimes to say what others can’t or won’t. With luck, maybe a few of you will tell me over a drink what you thought of our feature. Because the issues explored in it deserve sober second thought.
Copyright 2015 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the March 2015 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine