November 30, 2015

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7/08/02 The Triple Filter

A man wearing red met a man in white and said to him, "Do you know what I just heard about one of your friends?"

"Hold on a minute," said the man in white, "before you talk to me about my friend, have you made sure that what you're about to say is true?"

"No," said the man in red, "I just heard it and thought you'd want to know."

"So you don't really know whether it's true. Well, is what you're about to tell me about my friend something kind or good?"

"No, on the contrary, it's bad."

"So you want to tell me something bad about my friend, and you're not certain it's true. Well, is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful in any way?"

"No, not really," replied the man thoughtfully.

"Well," concluded the man in white, "if what you want to tell me about my friend is neither true nor kind nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

This famous conversation happened more than 2,000 years ago. It's interesting to note that no one remembers the name of the man wearing red.

The man in white was Socrates.

You are holding the 7th edition of "The 40 Most Powerful People in Radio." Last year, a Wall Street analyst downgraded a company as a direct result of the Top 40 list. Although we felt awful, a close examination of our data restored our confidence that we had properly reflected that company's CEO.

Compiling the Top 40 list each year requires that we spend countless late nights in research, discussions and heated debates to make sure that what we are reporting is truthful, kind and useful regarding these 40 people and their impact.

Radio Ink uses Socrates' "triple filter test," and we take it very seriously. The truth is the truth, and it's not for sale. The leaders who make up this year's list are there because they deserve to be. Each year, Radio Ink loses substantial advertising revenues because we refuse to "slip someone onto the list."

Congratulations to those who made it.

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