autowriters.com january 2010 newsletter


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the road ahead

Actions produce reactions. New Year’s predictions of continued growth in TV viewing, Internet use, mobile communications devices and apps, E-readers, order in social media and expanded "Web 3” services (including thinking with us, if not for us) are countered with jeremiads foreseeing the death of advertising, marketing and PR, the decline of critical thinking, Internet portals perishing and pay walls failing and on the bright side the possibility of bringing vast new markets within reach.

Autowriters.com: The Road Ahead: January 2010

Photo By: Chris Baker

“A fateful day is coming when there will be no more advertising, marketing, or public relations," claims Scott G. on The Club of Amsterdam Think Tank site. "Why? Simple: we're killing our industry by being too successful at it." 

He says the estimated 10,000,000 ads a person in the West will be exposed to in his or her lifetime is actually understated, what with “sponsored data built into your mail, e-mail, Web sites, video games, online games, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and media broadcasts. Ads are delivered by TV, radio, phones, outdoor boards, private vehicles, and transit posters. Marketing messages are sprayed on walls, chalked on sidewalks, printed on condoms, acted out in the streets, waiting to ambush you in restrooms, and beamed at you from electronic displays of every shape, size, and description, including sound-emitting urinal cakes.”  He complains that by the pound, the Sunday newspaper advertising inserts outweigh news sections 3 to 1 and the latter contain ads as well, with some of those sections, including automotive, often paid-for puffery.

Scott G, who owns G-Man Music & Marketing Miracles in Los Angeles (www.gmanmusic.com) where he creates radio commercials and composes music for radio and TV spots, decries a “pay to say society”, “the NASCARizing of everything,” when we can soon expect to hear: "Welcome to C-SPAN's coverage of the Halliburton Congress, brought to you by Bechtel."

Writing for www.TechNewsworld.com Richard Adhikari believes the Internet destroys critical thinking because it makes it “alarmingly easy to avoid any troublesome information that might provoke one to really think.” He reasons, “Most people tend to read only what interests them. Add to that the democratization of the power to publish, where anyone with access to the Web can put up a blog on any topic whatsoever, and you have a veritable Tower of Babel.” More profoundly, he cites sociologist Herbert Marcuse to note that what we like is shaped by our industrial culture. Like fish who can tell us little about water, we navigate the Internet unaware of the currents that influence our choices.

Portal perishing is what Ari Rosenberg, Online Publishing Insider, believes will happen to AOL, Yahoo and MSN when “boomers log off” because the generations behind them do not use Email, the chief source of revenue for these web portals. He says, “Once kids flip open their cell phones, they stop reading their email. It’s that sudden. For this demographic, communications occurs initially through texting and then onto Facebook.” He predicts there will be lots of maneuvering to stay profitable but the winner will be the portal that acquires or is acquired by Facebook.

Eric Sass, writing in MediaPost Online, references a Fitch Ratings report to say, “While a few select newspaper publishers may succeed with a strategy of erecting pay walls around their online content, most of these attempts will fail . . . In areas such as national, international, business and entertainment, news content has become commoditized, with the majority of metro dailies offering content so similar that readers will not feel a need to pay for it.” Sass says Fitch expects most newspapers erecting pay walls to reverse course, especially with other news outlets continuing to offer their content for free.

And, a “whole new ballgame” engendered by one of the latest Internet advances, WiFi plus Mobile, is what John Blossom sees, writing in his Shore Communications Newsletter. The continued development of gizmos now on the market will make it possible that, “Our smart phones, our eBook readers, our netbooks, our desktops, our in-home phones and our home entertainment devices can all be brought together on one seamless wifi-based communications medium.”

Blossom says: “Today we're seeing these devices powering personal communications, but I think that the larger potential is for devices that can (affordably) connect communities with one another first and foremost with a minimum of technology.” He sees these local communities connecting to form “bottom up networks” amongst the five-plus billion other people in communities that find themselves on a different economic and cultural playing field than the rest of the world.”

What do you think? Comments: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/the-road-ahead-january-2010/

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the tom-tom

Autowriters.Com invites readers to submit their own Clog
(Online Column).  Your reward: a byline and an audience of your peers.  All submissions are acknowledged, queued and used at the editor’s discretion. 


 Michael Larner, a graduate of USC with degrees in Psychology and Chinese, has been a contributing editor of PC Quarterly Review for the past five years. He is a member of the first generation to grow up fully immersed in interactive media. In addition to recently being named managing editor of the new Automotive section of PC Quarterly Review, Michael's duties require him to cover advances within the consumer electronics industry and to assess how they will affect our lives." He can be reached at: mlarner@pcqreview.com


The Destructive Effects of Digital Distraction

With the ever-quickening rate of technological progress, we rarely pause to reflect upon the negative consequences that such advances have had on society. By the late 1990’s, more than 10 million families in America had signed up for unlimited Internet usage. Since then, instant messaging services have become an integral part of the desktop landscape of an ever-increasing number of Generation Y’ers. As the years have passed, that landscape has grown to include a number of instant messaging applications, social networking windows, RSS feeds, streaming media content, and a whole host of other digital content.

Autowriters.com: Tom-Tom: Michael Larner

Michael Larner, Managing Editor, Automotive Section, PC Quarterly Review

Generation Y has become the first generation to integrate multiple streams of on-demand content into their daily lives, while the younger Generation Z will never experience anything but a fully integrated world. And with this consolidation of information, I fear that we’re witnessing a decline of the essential critical thinking and communication skills that have provided the foundation for society’s progress, including the technological revolution.

Given that these streams of information are designed to be digested simultaneously, they have been watered down to make for easier reading. Twitter limits its posts to 140 characters. Status updates on Facebook can only be three times longer. Communicating via instant messaging and texting has become such a prevalent issue that we’ve passed laws dictating when it’s acceptable. Add in the overwhelming number of one-paragraph blog posts that share a single interesting tidbit of content and it’s easy to see how this information can be absorbed so quickly. But an entire generation has been trained to instantly identify and use information in the most efficient manner possible. So when they come across a full-length article, it’s only natural that these same youngsters will revert to skimming the story. This wouldn’t be so bad if it were the extent of the problem, except that it’s not. All of these bite-sized pieces of information take little to no brainpower to extract meaning from and to understand. So, in a use-it-or-lose-it fashion, an entire generation is slowly forgetting how to process information. And, with their skimming method, they’re probably missing some important details as well.

Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in addition to the normal slew of after-hours parties, meetings, and networking events, folks gathered for the “Official CES Tweetup” in which Twitter users met in the lobby of the Hilton in order to network. As I walked by the group, I saw a gathering of about 50 young adults standing around in a bunch typing furiously on their phones. A check on Twitter following the event revealed that many of the tweets that had been posted during the event included people announcing that they were at the Tweetup. Why didn’t they just look up and see that other people were there? Because talking to one other person is inefficient. It’s boring. It’s not what this generation has been conditioned to do. This generation has been trained to maintain multiple conversations at once via online chats, while checking their email, and skimming the headlines.

Now consider the technology creeping into our cars, and the rate at which it is doing so. Mercedes has introduced its new split-view entertainment system, in which the driver and passenger can watch different images on the same screen without seeing the other’s view. Factor in the screens for the backseats, and the future of communication on those family road trips looks bleak. Active accident avoidance technologies are starting to trickle down from the premium manufacturers to the more affordable brands as well. And Ford just announced that they will be releasing a voice control API for developers of smartphone applications so that drivers can control their apps through Sync’s voice commands. Motorola also introduced two new GPS navigation systems that will pair with almost all Bluetooth devices and will display incoming text messages onscreen (Sync will also read them aloud). Plus, new applications from Nuance mean that we can now dictate our emails and text messages.

Imagine the following worst-scenario scenario: the road will be filled with an increasing number of drivers who understand how to best leverage this technology to their advantage. While driving along, they will soon be able to stream their music from Pandora, update their Facebook status, listen to incoming text messages, and place an order at Chipotle, all while they are driving to the restaurant. But they won’t be worried about crashing because adaptive cruise control will be adjusting their speed, blind spot indicator systems will alert them to cars next to them, driver monitoring systems will warn them if they are tired, and crosswind stabilization systems will adjust for high winds, while the passenger comfortably watches TV from the right-hand seat. And I admit, maybe this seems like a hugely efficient model that we can be proud of from a technological standpoint. But, given the current generation’s propensity for multitasking without truly focusing on any single undertaking, I fear that all of these technological innovations meant to be used as tools to help the driver in his or her quest for safety, will actually become necessary crutches for the driver. Future drivers, especially those growing up in the digital age, will be too busy keeping up with the stream of information now available to them from the driver’s seat to actually focus on the task at hand: driving safely.

What do you think? To comment please go to:

http://www.autowriters.com/blog/the-tom-tom-michael-larner/


 Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are volunteered and express the opinions of the writer.

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autowriters spotlight
Autowriters.com Autowriters Spotlight: Matt Farah

Matt Farah (r) and Tom Morningstar (l)

Matt Farah and his cameraman, Tom Morningstar, work in the “Wild West” of what pundits say will become the heart of consumer automotive communications once the territory has been pacified by protocols and is monetized by a successful paradigm. Rather than enthusiasm expressed in print and delimited by publishers, it is entrepreneurial, visual and self-published with comparatively little capital investment and therefore, plenty of competition.

Farah claimed no print credentials and had no on-air experience producing and hosting shows when he was retained to produce the opinionated Garage 419 episodes in Next New Network’s lineup of Internet video shows. His qualifications, like a host of freelance writers before him, began with a life-long enthusiasm for cars (he read his first car magazine at age 7, raced a Go-Kart at age 9, drove a car at age 11 and read and re-read and saved, he says, every issue of Car and Driver and Road & Track published). Other qualifications were verbal fluidity, energy and in his case, unique on-the-job experience. That began when he discovered his study of photography at the University of Pennsylvania would not lead to the income he desired. Instead, he went to work for Gotham Dream Cars, delivering exotic vehicles to their owners. An enthusiast’s “dream job” which led to the recognition that, like thoroughbred horses, these expensive, powerful machines need to run in order to be fully appreciated.

Farah organized a New York motoring club that provided owners of exotic luxury cars willing to pay $1,000 a year with organized, scouted and shepherded tours where they could safely unleash and enjoy their toys. Part of the membership package that attracted 75 members the first year was videotape of the cars on tour. Produced by Farah and shot by Morningstar, they put them on the Internet and that led to the offer from Next New Network.

After selling the club and 18 months of producing and hosting Garage 419, Farah and Morningstar forsook salaried employment and departed New York for L.A. where, as ad agencies have long known, the weather seldom interferes with a “car shoot.”

They now produce the unscripted, edgy www.theSmokingTire.com (and YouTube) episodes. In them they have fun and, “do all the things people want to do with cars,” Farah says. He speaks his mind on camera and, “while viewers like an honest opinion,” he wryly notes, “they get upset when I trash-talk the car they drive - as do manufacturers when a car they lent us gets panned.”

In exchange for the uncertainties of freelance they have ownership of their work and whatever rewards it brings. But, without IT, Ad and Promotion departments to help them. This is by far the most difficult part of their enterprise. Farah says. “It takes patience, lots and lots of patience when you’re dealing with big corporations. We negotiated for six months with two different sponsors before we landed them.” In the meantime, they have to shoot new episodes of TheSmokingTire.com, which means hustling press cars, securing locations and leaping numerous other hurdles standing between concept and completion. Helping them with this is www.Autostream.com  an automotive media producers partnership that works to secure sponsors and distribution for the content the partners provide.

Product integration is a promising new revenue source but Farah says it is sometimes difficult to include products in the show without losing credibility or viewers. His advice to anyone thinking about getting into his form of auto journalism is: “Be honest and prolific; go for visual beauty and have plenty of patience – everything takes forever.”

Permalink: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/autowriters-spotlight-matt-farah/

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road signs

Not unprecedented but unusual for by-the-numbers Consumer Reports, a subjective evaluation of car brands by adults in 1,750 households with at least one car who participated in a telephone survey ranked Toyota first, but Chevrolet and Ford made significant gains. Ford moved into second place and Chevy into fourth after responses in seven categories were tabulated. Domestics also dominated J.D. Powers' annual customer satisfaction survey.

Good news - sort of - for auto journalists: automotive advertising by manufacturers will rise 14% in 2010 and from all sources 11% to $19.2 billion total according to a Borrell Associates prediction reported by the Center For Media Research. However, Steve Smith writes in www.Minonline.com that a survey of senior executives indicates money supporting print outlets will decrease and dollars for interactive media will go up. For example, a new Cadillac ad campaign described by Gavin O’Malley in Online Media Daily includes, “a pushdown format, interactive wallpaper, and a custom 3D cube, along with a variety of other interactive features like videos, photo galleries, "360 tours," and real-time color selection for users.”

And, the squeeze on print dollars very probably explains why Media General, Inc. plans to consolidate the copy-editing and design functions of its newspapers in Winston-Salem, N.C., Richmond, Va. and Tampa, Fla. . . . Which makes 6 Tips for Recovering Journalists a timely offering (with elaborations) by Mary Ann Hogan in Poynter Online: 1) Learn Math, 2) Never Worry About Your Advanced Age, 3) Learn Multi Media, 4) Have a web site and a cool Facebook page, 5) Don’t spend too much time with journalists still in newsrooms and 6) Spend most of your time with creative, innovative types.

Something like a dead end sign, a recent MIT Sloan School of Management study concludes that the more precise audience targeting becomes the less profitable the targeting. That’s because, according to The Center for Media Research, the technology for reaching a specific audience also enables more competition for that audience and thus splinters the profit in doing so.

Permalink: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/road-signs-january-2010

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pit notes

Lyndon Conrad Bell made artful use of the review copy of Basem Wasef’s book Legendary Race Cars. In his letter from the editor in a recent issue of African-American On Wheels, Bell tells how the book’s recounting of the men and dreams behind 25 of the most significant race cars ever became part of his nourishing the dream of his son, Julian, who wants “To own a company that designs, builds and sells cars” . . . The Aftermarket Fact Book has gone digital with the new issue orderable at www.aftermarket.org. . . . John “Jay” Lamm writes, “Luminaries of the automotive world will help judge each event (three Concours d’Lemons) risking their reputations and stomach linings to oversee classes such as Needlessly Complex Italian, Rueful Britannia, Bad(ge) Engineering, and Most Dangerous.” They will be held March 7 at Infineon Raceway. May2 at Road Atlanta and August 7 at Monterey Toro Park. Speaking of LeMons, below is one of the cars “honored” in recent selections for its “Hall of Blame.”

Autowriters.com:Pit Notes

Team Eyesore  Photo by: 24 Hours of LeMons/Head-On Photos

Just as Ford makes news with its latest in-car interactive electronics, (one writer suggesting it may become the next media company) the Transportation Department and the National Safety Council, a nonprofit group, have formed FocusDriven, an organization aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, in particular, cell phone use while behind the wheel. New York Times Bits blogger Matt Richel reports many of the citizen instigators of the new group are survivors of loved ones killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers. He says they will pattern their campaign after that of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Coincidently, Sean Kane sent along a copy of the Safety Record published bi-monthly by Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. (www.safetyresearch.net) It features a disturbing article on tests of Driver Distractions and Vehicle Contraptions.

Befitting the Fed’s investment in the auto industry, The Washington Auto Show is expanding its efforts to put innovation front and center while providing a central meeting place for policy makers and industry officials as well as consumers and the media. In addition to a public policy media preview days on Capitol Hill January 25, the shows themed, “Change Happens Here" will debut a 65,000 square foot display dubbed the “Advanced Technology Superhighway” at the show itself in the Walter E. Washington Convention January 26-31.

Detroit Area Test Tracks, authored by Michael Davis and published by Arcadia Publishing, goes on sale nationwide January 4. Basically it is a photographic history of automotive testing and test tracks. The title says Detroit. But, Davis says, “it broadly covers U.S. auto testing which historically has been the province of domestic brands, some (Packard, Studebaker, Nash) no longer with us. The preponderance of auto test tracks, more formally known as proving grounds, indeed is in the Detroit area." The book is sticker priced at $21.99 and is available through Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble and Borders web sites and in Detroit area stores. If any productive auto writers want a review copy to give it a plug, Davis will ask the publisher to send one when provided with particulars. Reach him at bookmike1@sbcglobal.net. Test Tracks is his fifth Arcadia book and tenth published overall.

Drivers Talk Radio is celebrating its 10th year on the air and this month, its 500th broadcast. Hosted by auto expert and race-car champion Rick Titus, the weekly show added podcasts and vodcasts at www.driverstalkradio.com in 2009. Joining Titus on the show for added breadth and depth are: B.J Kileen, Jay Dalton and Tracy Miller. Micah Muzio is the show’s engineer and co-producer. . . . Freelance writer Shaunta offers her evaluation of four for-pay online outlets in her My Freelance Gig blog at LiveOnceJuicy.wordpress.com. She reports her experience with: Demand Studios, Suite 101 and Associated Content and her opinion of www.Seed.com.

Classic Motorsports magazine has put together a scenic tour of old Florida, which starts on Monday, March 15th, the day after the Amelia Island Concours. The week-long itinerary moves from Amelia Island to museums, collections and historic sites in the Sunshine State and ends March 19th at Bob Tullius' private collection in Sebring. That's just in time for the 58th running of America's oldest endurance race, the 12 Hours of Sebring. For more information visit: www.classicmotorsports.net

Petersen Automotive Museum has a steady schedule of changing displays and events that makes repeated visits to the Los Angeles auto shrine worth the time of enthusiasts already steeped in car culture as well as novitiates. For a complete schedule of the museum’s activities contact information and marketing manager Chris Brown at: cbrown@petersen.org

Permalink: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/pit-notes-january-2010

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new roads

SpeedReaders.info is a new web site for authors, publishers and readers. The site publishes “balanced, unbiased and carefully written” reviews on a wide range of automotive and transportation books and other media such as DVDs and videos. Speedreaders.info is anchored by experienced journalists/enthusiasts Kevin Clemens, Helen V. Hutchings, Frank Barrett and David Woodhouse. . . . NASCAR Auto Guide has been launched by NASCAR.com with High Gear Media providing editorial content and AutoTrader.com providing access to new and used-car inventories nationally. . . . In response to electronics “now taking 30-40% of a new car’s value” Rick DeMeis has introduced a new web site, Techbites.com. It offers a weekly newsletter to keep readers up-to-date with the latest developments in electronics and other auto technologies.

Permalink: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/new-roads-january-2010

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lane changes

Drivingwithdan@gmail.com is the best email address for Dan Wiese at the St. Louis Post Dispatch. . . .David Sloan succeeds Jerry Cizek as president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the Chicago Auto Show. . . . Sherry Shameer now works from home for Southern Connecticut Newspapers and automotive emails should be sent to her manager at the paper, Marsha Groglio marshagroglio@scni.com . . . The automotive contact at the Concord Monitor is Dan Barrick . . . Albert Flores has a new email address: albertfloresdmi@gmail.com  and he has added LaPrenza to his Texas newspaper, radio and TV outlets. . . . Michael Hiesiger, business editor at the Las Vegas Review Journal, has a new email address: mhiesiger@reviewjournal.com  . . . Neil Szigethy continues to work with Coyne Communications but now also has set up his own “jack-of-all-trades” company/agency, as can be seen on his website, www.carknack.net. He can be reached at carnack@aol.com . . . Gayle Smith is the autowriter at the Wilson Daily Times, in Wilson N.C. His email is gjsmith@wilsondaily.com  . . . Linda Finarelli now handles automotive programs for the Montgomery Newspapers in Fort Washington. Pa. Her email is: lfinarelli@montgomerynews.com

Permalink: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/lane-changes-january-2010
 

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across the finish line

Bill Scott- A remarkable combination of scholar, racer and entrepreneur. In 124 starts between 1965 and ’72 (Formula Vee, Super Vee and Ford) he had three world championships, 42 wins and all together 77 trips to the podium. Purchased and transformed Summit Point Motorsports Park.

Permalink: http://www.autowriters.com/blog/across-the-finish-line-january-2010

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- 30-

Glenn

Glenn F. Campbell
Principal
autowriters.com

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AWARDS

North American Car Of The Year

Ford Fusion Hybrid

North American Truck Of The Year

Ford Transit Connect

On Wheels Awards

Urban Car of The Year

Ford Taurus SHO

Urban  Truck of The Year

Chevrolet Equinox

Urban Green Vehicle of The Year

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Lifetime Achievement Diversity Awards

Susan Au Allen
US Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce

Juanita Doby
Volvo Cars of North America

Irma Elder
Philanthropist and Auto Dealer

Rod Gillum
GM (retired)

Pioneer Award

 Rev. Jesse L. Jackson

Designers’ Awards 2010 NAIAS

Best New Concept

GMC Granite

Best New Production Car

Audi A8

Golden Quill Award 

WAPA honors an outstanding, original piece of journalism (print, broadcast, or Web) related to autos or the auto industry. It can be either a single article or a series of related articles published in 2009. Journalists working within the Washington-Baltimore area are eligible. Send submissions (with your contact info) no later than January 18, 2010 to GoldenQuill@washautopress.org.

International Automotive Media Competition

 Entry deadline Feb. 28,2010

 Click Here For More Information and Entry Form

CALENDAR

January 2010
17 3rd Annual Wheels of Wellness Vintage Race Car Showcase, The Wellness Community, Phoenix, AZ
21 IMPA Luncheon, 3 West Club, NYC, Harley-Davidson
25 Public Policy Media Day, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
26 Press Preview Days, Washington Auto Show, Convention Center, Keynote Address, Golden Gear Award announced
28 SAMA luncheon, Coral Gables, FL
February 2010
4 APA Luncheon, Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, MI
10 MAMA Chicago Auto Show Breakfast, Mark Reuss, GM
10 Internet Car & Truck Awards, Chicago Auto Show
11 Chicago Economic Club's Chicago Auto Show Luncheon Meeting, (Media must pre-register), Chrysler CEO Sergion Marchionne
29 PAPA, Arizona Classic Car Auctions Preview, Phoenix, AZ
23 WAPA, Luncheon, Washington D.C., Consumer Reports, Golden Quill Award Presented, New Board Announced
24 SAMA Luncheon, Rusty Pelican, Miami, FL, Michelin
26 WAPA, Washington Auto Show Press Kickoff, Ford CEO, Alan Mulally
27 Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA, "Fantasies in Fiberglass"
March 2010
11 MAMA Luncheon, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, GM
25 SAMA Luncheon, Rusty Pelican, Miami, FL, Green Car Event
31 Press Preview, New York International Auto Show
April 2010
1 Press Preview, New York International Auto Show
2-11 Public Days, New York International Auto Show
12-15 SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI
 

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motoring press organizations


The 15 regional automotive press associations provide information and background not easily found elsewhere.
  If they are too distant to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.

APA

Automotive Press Association, Detroit - Katie Kerwin

IMPA

International Motor Press Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President - info@impa.org, www.impa.org

GAAMA

Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association www.gaama.org

MAMA

Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago - www.mamaonline.org

MPG

Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles - www.motorpressguild.org

NEMPA

New England Motor Press Association, Boston - www.nempa.org

NWAPA

Northwest Automotive Press Association, Bellevue, WA- www.nwapa.org

PAPA

Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President- drozadgal@aol.com

RMAP

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -vince@theweekenddrive.com

SAMA

Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Ron Beasley, President, ronbeasley@bellsouth.net

SEAMO

Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC www.southeastautomedia.org

TAWA

Texas Auto Writers Association http://www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Mike Herzing, mike@automotivereporter.com

TWNA

Truck Writers of North America,www.twna.org Tom Kelley, Executive Director, tom.kelley@deadlinefactory.com

WAJ

Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco - www.waj.org, Ron Harrison rharr70210@aol.com

WAPA

Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Rick Trawick, Presidentwww.washautopress.org

corrections

The title of Preston Lerner’s article that won MPG’s 2009 Best of the Year award
is The Joy of Slow.

It is Lauren Fix (not Loren) who was inducted into the National Transportation Women’s Hall of Fame.
 

talk back

The following are some comments that were posted on the blog and sent directly to us:

Pay Walls
http://autowriters.com/blog/the-road-ahead-pay-walls/
As the broadcast media have been watered down with outlets that reject objectivity and blatantly pursue their own political spin, so the internet is being turned to journalistic tofu by writers whose only qualification is passion about the subject. The internet is just like the world - confusing and misleading.

dbwriter68@gmail.com


High Gear

Thanks for including the comments of John Dinkel who I have long admired regarding the sham being promoted by High Gear. Write an article about Tesla and you may win a trip? Well, that's objective journalism. I have been at this game long enough to be offended that any firm would make such an offer.

On a brighter note, I look forward to the newsletter, even if it doesn't always contain good news. And a Happy Holiday for everyone even remotely connected with the auto writers of the world. And if I may say so, Car and Driver is a better magazine with David E. back.

Ron Amadon
Auto Writer
Dow Jones MarketWatch.Com

Related: Comments to Terry Parkhurt's "Internet Scammers"


Questions:

In The Cold In Canada?

One freelancer reports four U.S. auto writers are having trouble getting paid by Canadian outlets and asks if others have had this problem. Also, if it is true that U.S. writers who are stiffed by Canadian publishers have no recourse north of the border?
 



Ford Fiesta Convertible?

“I recently saw a small 2-seater Ford convertible in Monaco while on a cruise vacation. I took a picture (below) and I'm attaching it. I told my wife that if this car was marketed in California...I think it would be one of the top sellers...and I now wonder why doesn't Ford try this. What keeps a car like this out of California? Is it the crash safety thing or EPA? What is the model of this car and why not bring it to America!!

Ford Fiesta Convertible??

Mark Clar
mclar@value.net


Slides For Sale

"For 30 years we have published 60 auto-related publications including The Car Book. We have collected massive amounts of auto-related data and over 7,000 archived automobile slides dating back to about 1998. The 35MM slides are housed in plastic archival storage pages organized by make. We are offering them to interested auto enthusiasts and members of the auto media for $1000. If you are interested or have any questions please contact me at Julia@jagillis.com. If you are not interested, please forward this on to fellow auto enthusiasts or others this may interest.

Thank you,

Julia Redmon
Julia@jagillis.com



Iacocca Ad Campaign

Perhaps it was GM’s recent weak echo of Lee Iacocca’s Chrysler ads that brought it to mind or maybe pride in being part of the latter ads’ great success in the ‘80s, but for whatever reason, Carl Goodwin sent along some documents and recollections that traced the provenance of the famous and effective ad campaign featuring Chrysler’s leader. It began with a campaign Goodwin created comparing the Chrysler New Yorker to the Cadillac Seville and Lincoln Continental. His line was, “If you can see twice as much value in a Continental or Seville, buy it.” That was changed personally by Iacocca, Goodwin says, to the challenge from America's best-known and respected auto executive at the time that gave consumers confidence in Chrysler's recovery and its products: “If You Can Find A Better Car Buy It”

 

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