By Frank Jackman, Editor-and-Chief, AeroSafety World
“You’ve got it.” When Jay Donoghue closed his final editorial with that phrase last month, I got a little nervous.
I have been a fan of AeroSafety World since its inception. Jay, who up until a few weeks ago was the editor-in-chief of the magazine and director of publications for Flight Safety Foundation, sent me an early copy and I was hooked. I thought then, as I do now, that the magazine was well-written, accurate and thought-provoking, characteristics that too often are missing from today’s media landscape.
Now I find myself at the controls of ASW, and as everyone “kindly” keeps reminding me, I have big shoes to fill. Luckily for me, Jay, though retired happily, keeps answering my emails when I have a question.
I’m new to the Foundation, but I’m not new to aviation or journalism. I spent nearly 25 years at Aviation Week working in newsletters and magazines and on the web, and helping out with conferences when needed. Before that, I worked at newspapers in Virginia and Florida. I’ve reported on, and written about, a wide range of topics, and I’ve probably written or edited tens of thousands of stories, from two- or three-line newsletter blurbs, to lengthy, multi-part magazine pieces. I even did a little television early in my career, but ultimately I decided to heed the advice of one of my journalism professors, who said: “Jackman, you’ve got the face for radio and the voice for newspapers.”
So, why did I jump at the opportunity to succeed Jay at ASW? The reasons are varied. I’ve already mentioned how I feel about the magazine, and that has only been reinforced since I came on board in early April. The staff here is top-notch. In addition, I have a lot of admiration for Jay, who I’ve known since my earliest days in Washington. I take it as a compliment that he approached me about applying for the position.
Just as important is my respect for the Foundation and its leadership, Bill Voss and Kevin Hiatt, particularly. Both are pros, and there are very few people in the industry who can match Bill’s safety expertise. The Foundation’s mission statement reads, in part, “Be the leading voice of safety for the global aviation community.” After more than two decades of covering an industry that I have grown to love, I wanted the opportunity to contribute in some way. This is that opportunity.
Magazine publishing, like safety management, is a cooperative venture. The writers, editors and production people have defined roles, and you, our members and readers, have an important part to play as well. You are our window into what is going in the industry. If you have an idea for a story, or think a particular subject needs to be covered, please don’t hesitate to send me an email.
Thanks in advance for your support, and I’m looking forward to working with you to continue the tradition of excellence at AeroSafety World.
“Roger, I’ve got it.”