To our readers,
My name is John McDermott. I am Editor in Chief of Aeronautics Online Aviation News and Media. 2018 comes to a close, and my team and I have taken a look at where Aeronautics Online has grown, and where it still needs to grow, since being (re)launched in March.
Where did we grow in 2018?
I’d like to start with our growth this year. We had over 650,000 unique visitors, over 1,000,000 visits, and almost 2,000,000 page views. Our team includes over a dozen writers, photographers, and administrators from four continents. We’ve grown our social media presence to over 1,000 Facebook fans and over 6,000 Instagram followers.
In 2018, Aeronautics Online broke multiple key stories, including a collision between an Asiana A330 and a Turkish A321 all the way back in May and the Horizon Air Q400 crash in August. We covered multiple other key stories, including fascinating two articles on North Korea and multiple aircraft launches at Airbus (like the A220 and TAP Air Portugal’s A330neo, the first of the type to be delivered).
Where must we improve?
Yet, just as any other new organization, Aeronautics Online is far from perfect. We have had more than our share of mistakes, including numerous instances of plagiarism. On multiple occasions, we have fallen short of our duty to report truthfully, and we have not always properly representing contrasting viewpoints. We missed a number of key stories. At times, we put speed above integrity. We have kept our processes largely under wraps.
What are our plans?
In 2019, my administrative and editorial staff and I will take steps to correct these issues. We will fact check each article, and we will run articles through plagiarism checkers to make sure that our articles are only ours. Our writing team will expand, which will help us to cover more stories accurately and extensively. We will also recruit new editors and administrators to help make sure that articles are accurate and that we are as transparent as possible.
At the start of 2019, we will allow readers to submit corrections. (Look for a “Submit A Correction” page by January 1.) We will also give readers an opportunity to provide feedback on where we can improve.
Our administration will draft public statements each time we make a major change to an article or each time any copyright claim, whether credible or not, is made against us, and we will investigate each claim completely. We hope to restore our integrity over the coming months, and we commit to being completely transparent and honest about our mistakes and our methods in 2019 and beyond.
What is being done now?
Aeronautics Online’s administrators are always discussing new ways to improve the website, and changes are being implemented to make our site more user-friendly. We will clean out old and unused pages. We will update our advertising so that it matches our content. Behind the scenes, we are reorganizing our records and updating forms so that we can respond to you, our readers, more efficiently than ever before.
What are some of our hopes for next year?
Aeronautics Online has high hopes for 2019. We look to launch new partnerships, expand to new regions, and provide trustworthy world-class reporting. We hope to interact with our readers on social media and at engaging events.
We want to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns for our team, or if you have any editorial concerns, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in a media partnership, or if you wish to share any similar proposals, please contact Luca Zocche at email@example.com. We are always delighted to hear from you.
Have a happy holiday season and a blessed new year, and thank you for reading Aeronautics Online.
Featured image by Isaan Valenzuela/Aeronautics Online