Sunday, March 29, 2015

Media Quoting What I said in a Webinar

I have been asked to speak for professional society webinars on occasion in the past several years. One of the recent webinars was for the Association for Pedestrian Bicycle Professionals on the topic of Level of Service and how engineers are (the industry) using performance measures (past, present, and future). It was a topic I have covered in several lectures. What was unique from this particular experience was that a reporter from Minn Post took the language I used during the webinar and made it seem as if I was talking to him in the piece he did for the web.  As a reader of the piece, when the author uses quotes, I immediately think that the writer talked to the source directly. Yet, we didn't have any conversation I can recall.  He did set up that we didn't really talk when he said the following: "As Peter Koonce, an engineer in Portland, Oregon, explained during the session,"

The article even had a bit of a misleading headline:
"The way engineers rate city streets is rapidly evolving. That's a good thing."

I wouldn't necessarily agree that the performance measures are "rapidly evolving" sadly enough.

The article was flattering but it makes me wonder if it is a cautionary tale to be more mindful of what opinions are shared in "public" settings like webinars.

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