Everyone here at Society Matters couldn’t be happier to welcome a new scribe (and a former colleague) to the blogosphere: John Fahey, CEO of the National Geographic Society. Hola, hallo, 餵, Γειά, ciao, and bonjour to you, John! It’s great to see you’re aboard.
John put up his inaugural post yesterday, and although it isn’t available to readers outside the NGS firewall, we’ve decided, as a public service, to cross-post it here. Enjoy!
We hope it goes without saying that we’re all in favor of a “real exchange… about the issues that matter.” Problem is, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for NGS employees to engage in that exchange if their jobs are dependent on toeing the management line.
For instance, what NG staffer has the freedom to say: The Editor’s Note* in February’s NGM was an embarrassment to the Society, and a clear sign that Chris Johns is painfully out of touch with the ways that journalism has evolved in the past ten years.
Say that out loud behind a firewall, and you’ll get burned. But say it out in the open, where the sun is shining, and suddenly a real discussion can begin.
If you really want an honest conversation, John — and we still believe you do — then we’d (once again) make a simple suggestion that would free up everyone, including you: Tear down that firewall!
* P.S. NGS staffers may not have the freedom to call out Chris Johns for his goofy Editor’s Note, but we do — and, very soon, we will. And we’ll be supplementing our case with some compelling expert testimony. Stay tuned….