For the past year, we've been bringing you timely reports on the Firestone recall thanks in large part to one individual-Miles Moore, Tire Business' Washington, D.C. reporter.
Miles has written at least a hundred stories on the subject and has shown the uncanny ability to take huge amounts of information and condense it quickly letting you, our readers, know what's going on almost as soon as it's happened.
Ironically, many people don't know that Miles' true nature leans more toward artistic pursuits.
He's a poet at heart, with two books of poems to his credit, but you wouldn't know it from his tough-nosed reporting. The kind of writing he does from his post in the National Press Building is straightforward, hard-hitting and factual. His words don't rhyme, create a mood or leave an image to ponder.
But they do have impact, at least to independent tire dealers and others interested in the tire industry. For as long as Tire Business has been in existence (nearly 19 years), Miles has been the newspaper's eyes and ears in Washington.
He's the only reporter that I know of who's solely dedicated to covering events in the U.S. Capital that relate to the tire and rubber industry.
You may not have recognized the significance of that statement, but I'm sure you've read his stories. Take, for instance, the Firestone-recall stories of the past year. The reason Tire Business, and our sister publication Rubber & Plastics News, which Miles also works for, have been able to cover that rapidly changing story as effectively as we have is because of Miles' efforts from Washington.
When, for instance, Bridgestone/Firestone CEO John Lampe and Ford Motor Co.'s Jac Nasser testified before Congress recently, Miles was there. Within hours of the conclusion of each day's testimony, he had at least one story and sometimes two or three posted on TB's Web site, giving viewers the latest updates. Later, he penned longer and more in-depth versions for our printed publication.
For someone who enjoys the beauty of poetry, Miles is surprisingly aggressive in asking tough questions-and he's willing to take the heat for doing so. Not everyone wants to see the straight story in print when the news isn't positive. But Miles adheres to our parent company's editorial doctrine that the reader comes first.
His stories are fair, balanced and accurate, giving readers the information they need to make sound business decisions.
A good example of this occurred about a decade ago. Miles found out about the results of a General Services Administration test in which medium truck retreads had fared poorly, and he wrote a report about it. It was a tough story to publish because the test results painted retreads in a bad light at a time when the retreading industry was working hard to improve the image and quality of its products. But the story clearly had news value and was important information for those making, buying and selling retreads.
While no one questioned the accuracy of that story, there are to this day people in the retreading industry who remain upset with him for writing it, even though he was only the messenger.
Maybe it's this willingness to tackle difficult and controversial stories that has made Miles so effective at poetry slams-contests where the audience, which is made up of fellow poets, judge a contestant's poetry by hooting and hollering him or her off the stage.
A few years ago, Miles won the poetry slam competition in Washington and competed in the National Poetry Slam in San Francisco.
Whether it's new legislation being introduced in Congress or coverage of regulatory agencies and trade associations, Miles Moore, Tire Business Staff Reporter and poet, will be there to tell the story.
Mr. Zielasko is editor and publisher of Tire Business.