Lives or Dollars?

Recently we've done reviews on various martial arts instructional videos that display half page and full page ads in different martial arts magazines. Not only have these ads made me wonder as to who these magazines are really loyal too, but so have the featured articles some of them have done. What's more important to these magazines, lives or dollars? And how many magazines go around claiming one, when their actions imply the other?

Magazines, books, videos, and even review sources like this one, should in my opinion, be unbiased for the sake of lives that depend on the information they provide. Yet how can some of them provide this, when they know by doing so, they risk losing thousands a year in advertising dollars? Hmm, a good question for a senior level "business ethics" class at most any college. In my opinion the responsibility of all these media is far greater than they realize. People DEPEND ON THE TRAINING, TECNIQUES, SUGGESTIONS, AND ENDORSEMENTS THESE MEDIA PROVIDE. A ringing endorsement, or even a slightly implied one, for someone whose self defense concepts are questionable, could cause someone to purchase, attempt to use, and possibly lose their life.

Allowing some of these instructors or systems to have featured articles can easily make the average reader think: "Wow, this stuff must be good if ______ did an article on it. I guess I should buy it." In my opinion, these articles, and even the big ads these magazines allow, can cloud a readers judgement as to what is really being endorsed by a publication and what isn't. Look at some of the recent reviews we've done, and compare them to some of the articles done on the same. I don't know about you, but it sure makes me start to wonder what the real priorities are with certain publications.

Unlike many of the magazines, here's how MAVR tries to act responsibly for its readers. If you see a tape that's been given a VERY HIGH score, or a VERY LOW score, know that in most instances our review staff acted responsibly by questioning that reviewer, and either consulted with another reviewer, or the editor, who also looked at that tape and assessed the evaluation given it. Now when was the last time you saw some of these magazines, who publish these "so-and-so has the system to end all systems" ads and articles, say they had more than one person evaluate the system, or instructor, before they published certain ads or articles?

Why can't these magazines act more responsibly, by doing assessments on some of these individuals and their self defense concepts, before running ads and articles on them? If they did this, maybe they could not only provide more value to their readers, which might ultimately lead to more subscriptions, but by doing so they'd be acting more responsibly about lives that depend on the training these individuals and systems provide.

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