the road ahead
The push for pay walls guarding publishers’ content is
gaining momentum world wide. Springer,
publisher of Bild, Europe’s largest daily paper, joins
Rupert Murdoch who promises to start charging to access his
outlets around the globe. The $15 billon, 44% drop, in U.S,
newspaper advertising over the first three quarters of 2009,
as compared with the same period in 2006, has many large
U.S. newspapers evaluating ways to charge for their digital
offerings. (The trade Variety put up a pay wall this week).
Photo By: Zsuzsanna Kiliani
Springer’s plan, as described by New York Times writer
Eric Pfanner, would have publishers and internet companies
working together to create a “one-click marketplace
solution” where Google and other Internet gateways would
display links to content as they do now, but some of the
items would include something new, a price tag.”
Conditioning consumers to an online newsstand could mean a
return to glory for digital auto magazines and their
writers. Those that sell, prosper, those that don’t won’t.
A hitch in that plan is the amount of “free” information
available provided by Google or other aggregators. The
Germans would expand copyright laws to include excerpts as
well as complete articles. To charges that it is “stealing
content” Google has responded with what
Clint Boulton describes as “an olive branch to newspaper
publishers” - letting them limit the number of articles
readers can view for free on Google News to five per day.”
As to its search engine and excerpts, Google notes that
publishers are free to de-list from its search engine if
they are willing to forgo their take from link traffic
generated by Google searches, currently at 100,000 clicks
per minute. And, the sales boost for their advertisers from
articles consumers read.
A recent Opinion Research Survey
reported by The Center for Media Research, reveals American
consumers say articles that include brand information are the
type of online advertising they're most likely to read and
act upon, compared to banner ads, pop-up ads, email offers
or sponsored links - more good news for auto writers.
On the other hand, research as to the willingness of
consumers to pay for content suggests they are not. Or, at
best, they'll not pay very much unless it is information they cannot
get elsewhere for free. This raises the question of the
quality of the free information available and the appraisal
of Springer’s public affairs officer, Christoph Keese, as
quoted by Pfanner, “A highly industrialized world cannot
survive on rumors. It needs quality journalism, and that
Another approach to quality is journalists'
crowd-sourcing. Advertising Age writer Simon Dumenco reports
Mother Jones is now spearheading a potentially revolutionary
cooperative reporting venture that will bring together,
starting with a kick-off meeting this month, of a half a
dozen or more journalistic organizations to examine climate
change in depth. Google Labs is developing a “Living Story”
format for journalists to collaboratively update a story on
one URL. A concept that could be applied to auto writers
although the most promising avenue
is the marketers refrain that “engagement,” the ability to
interact with and build consumer involvement is the essence
of online communications, as exemplified by the explosive
growth of social media. Or, as Seth Kaufman, director of
media strategy for PepsiCo North America, is quoted by
Greenberg in Marketing Daily "...now the deer have guns;
it's no longer about brands controlling the conversation.
The old world of marketing was about badge value, and agency
creative. Now it's about deep emotional connection."
Comments? Please go to:
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(Online Column). Your reward: a byline and an audience of
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Terry Parkhurst is contributing
editor/auctions for Collector Car Market Review.
Additionally, he is a contributor to American Rider
and Nissan Sport magazine. He has over 30 years
writing about automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. His work
has also appeared in AutoWeek, Sports Car Market
and Old Cars Weekly. You can reach him directly at
Back when animated films were produced
using what were called “cells” a character named Wimpy was a
stable of the old “Popeye” cartoons. Wimpy was a big fan of
hamburgers but never seemed to have much money. His ongoing
mantra was, “I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger
That's similar to what a lot of
automotive websites are offering these days: something for
nothing, or at the most, a promise of something for
something. Of course, to hear some of them tell it, by
asking for something as tangible as money, an automotive
journalist is being short-sighted.
Consider the response I received when I
asked why only certain “select” contributors would get paid,
from one well-known automotive website.
“While I can understand the frustration
that someone is willing to provide for free, something that
you have been paid for in the past, I don't appreciate the
allegation,” he wrote in an e-mail, adding, “We never
promised that we would ever want to hire you or anyone else or
pay a penny."
“We have over 100 contributors out of
which a dozen or so are paid contributors, who were brought
on board despite not being promised anything, at anytime,
until the point at which we decided to 'upgrade' our
relationship. We are all working very hard to build a great
company and would never compromise our values for the sake
of making a buck.”
God forbid that values would be
compromised by actually paying any or all contributors.
Still, you'd think that a website that calls itself “The
Web's auto authority” would be able to find the money.
Then too, there are companies such as
Internet Brands, that have two tiers for auto writing.
During this past summer, IB ran an ad on Craig's List
looking for auto writers for two of its sites:
www.Autos.com. They offered the less than
grand sum of four dollars for a short item of 150 to 250
words, and $10 for a “long article” of 400 to 600 words. Pay
was a flat rate with no expenses.
I ran it by a friend of mine, a
longtime veteran of Car and Driver magazine and he
blew the whistle on them.
He told me that Internet Brands also
owned NewCarTestDrive.com and paid $600 for a full road
test; and also paid $250 for a short introductory piece for
that same site.
When I brought this up, to the human
resources person listed as the contact, by e-mail and
telephone, she never responded.
What I've taken to doing, is telling
people who are offering rates that aren't worth the time
that would be invested is, I live in one of the most
expensive cities in America, don't live with my parents and
have over 30 years writing about autos, trucks and
motorcycles. It has helped in only one case; where the
publisher bumped rates up: from $20 a piece to $50.
In what other occupation would someone
be asked to do work for either no money, or at rates that
don't even pay the rent? Of course, this used to go on with
print journalism, too; but not to the extent it seems to, in
regards to Internet sites. The result cheapens automotive
We get a collection of impoverished and
exploited writers who are mere sycophants willing to write
whatever platitudes it takes to keep a steady stream of
press vehicles and invitations to ride-and-drives.
Somebody needs to tell some of these
websites that even Wimpy had to come up with some money if
he wanted to get what he felt he needed.
What do you think? To comment please go
Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are
and express the opinions of the writer.
In a belated tip of the hat to the many fine professional auto writers in Canada
this month's spotlight is on one of their own, Jil McIntosh, who sketches her
own auto writing career.
“It’s hard for me to believe – gray hair aside – that I’ve been writing
professionally about cars for 25 years.
I’d churned out stories since I was a child, and during an early-1980s stint as
a taxi driver in Toronto, I met a driver who collected antique cars. I had no
interest in vehicles, but when I saw them, I wanted one. I bought a 1948
Chevrolet, and later, the two vehicles I still own, a 1947 Cadillac and 1949
Studebaker pickup truck. (And an antique tractor. Every woman wants an antique
I had no formal journalism education, but I started writing for a couple of
local publications, Canadian Street Rodder and Old Autos. Along the way, I
queried to every car magazine I could find. It wasn’t easy to break in; one
editor told me he didn’t publish women because they only wrote about shopping
while their husbands were at car shows. I submitted a story anyway, and became
their columnist for several years. If anything’s changed the most in 25 years,
it’s that women are now taken seriously in this business.
When Canada’s largest daily paper, the Toronto Star, started its weekly
section, I was determined to be part of it. They took my first piece in 1987 –
the cover story! – about a hot rod show. I was a semi-regular contributor over
the next ten years, until the old-car writer left and I took over his column.
Shortly after, I asked why, if women made half of all new-car purchases, there
weren’t any women reviewing cars. A week later, I was in a press car, notebook
Reviewers had specific segments, and mine was entry-level. I endured a lot of
teasing from colleagues, asking when I was going to drive “real” cars. It wore
thin, until one said, “Think of your readers. Someone spending $70,000 doesn’t
care what you think. But someone who only has $18,000 is hanging on your every
word.” I’ve never forgotten that.
I now cover all segments, but still like entry-level. These buyers aren’t always
familiar with vehicles, so I include explanations for everything. I look for
little things they might miss on test drives: seats that are tough to fold, or
liftgates that open too high for shorter drivers. I also mentally “buy” each
car, because readers do that literally. I dislike stories describing a $60,000
car as a “deal” – yes, it is, because you didn’t pay for it.
I’m a freelancer, so along with The Star, I’m assistant editor at
www.CanadianDriver.com, and a contributor to the industry magazine Tire News. I also
write non-auto stuff, including columns on cocktails, fountain pen collecting,
and years ago, a string of cheapie novels.
The auto scene is a little different up here – for one thing, we pick up our own
press cars! Canadians also buy far more entry-level, more compacts, and more
hatchbacks and wagons.
We have a national alliance, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC),
of which I’m a member. You must be a writer, photographer or broadcaster for at
least a year before applying, and there’s a two-year probationary period. It
must be your full-time job, and if your outlet is online, it must be editorial,
regularly updated, and supported by advertising or subscriptions – blogs alone
Each October, we hold “Testfest” to judge the Canadian Car of the Year Awards,
in three days of back-to-back road testing in one location. You don’t have to be
a reviewer to be an AJAC member, but only recognized reviewers can judge at
Testfest. The awards are highly regarded, and automakers use them prominently in
I do meet the odd writer who never met a car he didn’t like, because he never
met a press trip he didn’t like, but overall, the level of professionalism in
Canada is very high. I know my editors would fire me if I wasn’t honest, and I’d
expect them to do that. Someone with five years of car payments is counting on
me. I won’t let him down.”
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/autowriters-spotlight-jil-mcintosh
praise of the press fleet pros
by Josh Max
No matter how serious things got this
year, they still kept us rolling through rain, snow, sleet and
gridlock. There isn’t a boldface name in any newspaper or magazine or
website for these sweaty (or shivering) heroes of the road.
Their mothers neither hang their work on fridges nor email
published links to friends and relatives. A leisurely drive in
a $60,000 sports car with their significant other on a lazy
Sunday spring afternoon isn’t in their job description. The gig
is to deliver and pick up the goods, and you can count on these
guys like the sun rising and setting.
I’m talking about those unsung, coffee-soaked, iron-assed
pros—the press fleet delivery people.
“Good morning, Mr. Max. Your vehicle is downstairs.” How sweet
Photo By: Ralph Morris
Alone after drop-off---unless a chaser car’s involved---they
trudge off into the day or the night to the bus, subway or
train. Their reward is another car to be delivered to another
journalist, who may or may not be in a good mood that day or may
criticize a car’s maker or car color straight off instead of
looking in the driver’s eye for the briefest of greetings and
perhaps ask how the trip was.
In 10 years of auto journalism and
600-plus press cars delivered, I have never heard one wisecrack
or sarcastic comment from any press fleet driver. These
responsible, courteous men and women follow their directives and
go home at the end of the day while we journalists head off into
our world of make-believe and a free ride.
Sometimes they have to locate a journalist whose car was
scheduled to be returned but who has disappeared with the keys
for a few hours. Sometimes they find dents or scratches or
worse. EZ-passes, portable nav systems, sunglasses, cameras,
Blackberries and even a deer carcass are found and must be
returned. There is frequently peanut butter on the steering
wheel and sand in the floor mats and straw wrappers in the
They just keep right on doing their job.
We’ve all had a challenging year, but I think it’s time for a
round of claps. Not while you’re driving, though. Try the
below instead: The next time you’re easing back into the
driver’s seat, nav
system programmed to some sweet destination, the tunes of your
choice wafting through the cockpit and the cares and troubles of
office media work fading behind you---consider thanking a
dispatcher and driver.
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/in-praise-of-press-fleets
Newspaper autowriters have long walked the line between news and advertising,
striving for journalistic credibility while avoiding affronts to their
publisher’s auto advertisers. The credibility part has become more difficult at
the Dallas Morning News after editor Bob Mong and Sr. Vice President of Sales,
Cindy Carr, announced, “To better align with our clients' needs, we will be
organized around eleven business and content segments with similar marketing and
consumer profiles including: sports, health/education, entertainment,
travel/luxury, automotive, real estate, communications, preprints/grocery,
recruitment, retail/finance, and SMB/Interactive.”
Tearing down of the wall
between news and advertising brought a storm of Internet reactions ranging from
“Another Death In Dallas” by acanuck on DagBlog to “cautious optimism” by
“Newsosaur” blogger Alan Mutter, as reported by
Box, who has covered autos and the industry at the paper for 15 years reports
that so far nothing has changed for him. “I will continue to report to my editor
in Business News, Laura Jacobus, and the editor of the department, Dennis
Fulton. The general managers will be over advertising people and have
considerable lateral power as I understand it. Jim Moroney, our publisher, sent
out a clarification of sorts late last week that said editors will continue to
have final authority over all news — which is all fine and good. But you have to
wonder why they set the system up in the first place.” Mong said the move is,
“the next step toward becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for
local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to
generate important, relevant content.”
After 108 years, Editor and
Publisher is being shut down by its publisher, The Nielsen Company. The company
sold eight other titles in order to “focus on businesses with the highest
potential for growth”, according to a story in The Huffington Post. . . .Wooden
Horse News reports USA Today, which now trails The Wall Street Journal in
circulation, plans to cut 5% of its newsroom staff and 11 people from the USA
Weekend staff. Also, that ESPN plans to open local websites in 20 or more
cities, starting in Los Angeles. The newsletter also quotes former Business
Week executive editor John Bryne on why he started his new company C-Change
Media: "I passionately believe that the future of media is digital and that
newcomers have tremendous advantages over incumbents."
As tough as the past three years have been for traditional
media, the next three are going to be nothing less than brutal: more closures,
greater losses, increasing layoffs of highly talented journalists and editors.
"AOL plans to axe 2500 employees and use
robot news gatherers (an algorithmic system that trawls the internet) to find
stories its visitors will most prefer." This, according to FastCompany, as
reported by Gavin O’Malley on Media Post. He continues to quote, “It'll then
advise the humans in the loop which stories are likely to do well, and when to
run them--particularly pieces like seasonal or sporting-interest ones." O’Malley
says the system will, “parse out article assignments among a large freelance
staff, screen submitted pieces for grammar and spelling and calculate the
freelancer’s pay. . . . O’Malley also reports in another piece that
Japan has introduced a tiered payment model that will charge audiences to view tweets from premium Twitter accounts.
The New York Times' twice weekly Chicago edition
is underway staffed by many former Chicago Tribune journalists
supplementing Times material with Windy City news. . . . The new Detroit Daily
Press called a halt after a week’s production but plans to re-start in 2010
after resolving problems in sales, advertising and distribution, according to
www.Cison.com. . . Automotive News has renamed its daily newscast
Journalism professor Bret Schulte, writing in the American Journalism
Review: “All this focus on Facebook friends and Twitter
followers and sowing
stories and links across the Web is dramatically altering a side of the business
that the newsroom never much thought about: distribution. What was once the
province of doorsteps and homepages is now about the hustle of networking, the
savvy application of technology and the dark art of promotion and marketing.
And, increasingly, it's everyone's job. The imperative for newsrooms to push
stories far and wide is redefining the work of reporters and editors and
prompting even more questions about the future of audiences, news brands and
that standard-bearer of online journalism: the good old homepage."
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/road-signs-journalism-r-i-p
Girls Go Racing: Driving To Esteems is a new book by Dani Ben-Ari and
Susan Frissell. The long time auto writers detail the benefits of auto
racing, what it takes for interested young girls to get involved, how
racing can become a viable career option, and how the involvement in motorsports builds much needed self esteem. Published by
(September 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4490-0738-6, $12.95), the book is available
at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the
publisher at www.Authorhouse.com, and on
Burt Levy touts a
number of Holiday gifts available at his last
site–including a chance to be in his newest book. . . . In recognition of
his many outstanding contributions to the organization during his tenure
as President, the Texas Auto Writers Association has honored Harold Gunn
by renaming its scholarship fund the Harold Gunn Scholarship For
Journalism. The scholarship is for students in a Texas university who
are in their junior year and are pursuing a Bachelors Degree in
journalism . . .Gary Witzenberg accepted the open invitation to attend
Bill Maloney’s First Tuesday Car Lunch Bunch at Hawaii’s
Club and talked about the GM EV-1 which he was involved with in
engineering and PR capacities. It was noted that he was driving a Prius
loaned by Servco Toyota.
2009 Indycar Series champion Dario Franchitti will keynote a panel on
Indy car racing at the 3rd annual
Wheels of Wellness vintage race car showcase in Phoenix on Jan. 17,
2010. The event, to benefit the non-profit Wellness Community's free
cancer support and education programs, kicks off Arizona Auction
week with an astonishing display of rare and seldom-seen vintage race
cars and has become a much-anticipated gathering of racing luminaries
and car aficionados.
Media members who want to attend Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s invitation-only talk at the
Chicago Economic Club’s
annual Chicago Auto Show luncheon, Feb.11, should visit
www.ChicagoAutoShow.com/mediaaccess . . . . Speaking of the Nation’s largest
auto show, that is where the Internet Car and Truck of The Year will be
unveiled during media days, Dec. 10 and 11 by the originator of the
juried awards, journalist Keith Griffin. He’ll also announce the winner
of the Internet Automotive Journalist of The Year contest.
its nine “social milieus” analysis of the U.S. car market,
predicts shifting buyers to smaller cars as the government would like,
is going to be a hard sell. Those most likely to downsize their next car
are those in the increasingly less numerous “Affluent Progressive
Milieu” The market research firm also reports that price outweighs
“green” in new car purchase decisions.. . .
And, it is well down the
list of popular car colors as reported by
DuPont that silver is tops and
green is eighth. Still, a new “green car” racing circuit has been
launched in Europe by London-based EEVRC Ltd. The idea is to help the
car makers change the image of electric vehicles, from being local
runabouts to high-performance, highly-desirable cars. As to which cars are most
desirable, Michael Karesh welcomes suggestions for more
features in his monthly True Delta compilation of on-going car owner
reports on their car’s reliability, mileage and other factors. Reach him
The Vintage Vehicle Show seen on 79 U.S. TV stations has added
outlets in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and a number of former Russian
Republics to its overseas telecasts. Lance Lambert, the show’s
president and producer said at least 15 new episodes will be taped in
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/pit-notes-december-2009
Quench Media announced the launch of
OnlineTowingGuide.com, a new
portal for complete news and information on recreational towing. Editor
and publisher Brett Becker launched the new site because, he says,
“there was a need for a Web site, with high production values, that
provided information and advice on how to do things safely in towing and trailering. He adds that he has poured all the knowledge gained from his
years of experience in towing and trailering into the site with the goal
of helping others, “pull it right and get there in one piece.”
group of 'Green Enthusiasts' has launched a green portal
www.gogreen.ae to increase awareness of environmental issues that affect the future of
the planet. Go-Green.ae is updated 24/7 with green news, events,
technologies, videos, web resources and success stories in the field of
energy conservation, sustainability and environmental protection. . . .
Online Media reports that Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith,
News Corp and
Time, Inc. are working on a “new digital storefront.” It would keep
Apple or other platform providers from controlling digital distribution.
Apple is ready to introduce its competitor to the Kindle reader this
Kevin Clemens sent us a news release about a new automotive
and transportation book review site,
www.Speedreaders.info but we misplaced
the release. So here is a description from the site: “SpeedReaders.info
was created to provide readers with reviews of automotive and
transportation books and other media such as videos and DVDs. The books
we review include: Automobiles, Motorcycles, Trucks, Boats and Ships,
Trains, Buses, Airplanes and Aviation, as well as racing, rally, and
adventure stories that have to do with planes, trains, ships and
automobiles. Although we primarily review new or recent books, you will
also find many classic and out-of-print books in our reviews because we
Many of the books we review are produced by small and specialty
publishers and we put a priority on such presses. We also accept
self-published books- as long as they have an ISBN. The reviews are
property of the reviewer, but may be excerpted or copied completely, as
long as credit is given to the reviewer and to Speedreaders.info.”
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/new-roads-december-2009
Contrary to our previous listing, Michael Cotsworth is the current
of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press group (RMAP) . . . The
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is moving its collection from a
convention center in metro Detroit to the Detroit Science Center, near
the city's downtown. The science center will house the hall of fame's
collection of racing cars and memorabilia.
Long time Booth
Newspapers Michigan representative Richard Haglund has taken early
retirement with plans to stay active in journalism. Feel free to contact
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
. . .Barry Toepke’s new post is: Vice President,
Historic Races, Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca. He's responsible for overseeing
all aspects of sales, marketing, operations and the execution of the
vision for historics. He can be reached at 310-990-6295 or 831-242-8291
or emailed: email@example.com . . .
Charlie Vogelheim has moved
from J.D. Power and Associates to executive vice president of
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/lane-changes-december-2009
across the finish line
Jan-Willem Vester, former Saab PR staffer.
Comments? Please go to: http://autowriters.com/blog/across-the-finish-line-december-2009
Glenn F. Campbell
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Dean Batchelor Award
("to the journalist judged to have produced the
single piece of work which best represents the professional standards
and excellence epitomized by the career and life of the late Dean
"Truth In 24, Audi at the 2008 24 Hours of LeMans"
Keith Cossrow and Bennet
MPG’S Best of The Year
Preston Lerner, The Joy of Slow, Automobile Magazine
Carlos Eduardo Jalife-Villalon,
The Brothers Rodriguez,
David Bull Publishing
Allison (Al) Merion,
WOMEN’S WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR
KELLEY BLUE BOOK
2010 Best Redesigned Vehicle
Truck of The Year
Ram Heavy Duty Pickup
Car of The Year
ROAD AND TRAVEL MAGAZINE
Most Environmentally Progressive Car of The Year
Most Environmentally Progressive Truck of The Year
2010 Audi Q7 TDI
International Car of The Year
International Truck of The Year
TAWA CRAFT AWARDS
Sue Mead, Driving the King of Trucks Bumper to Bumper
Jeff Yip, The Best The Cheapest, The
And What To Expect In The Future, Consumers Digest
Harold Gunn & Mike Herzing,
The Automotive Reporter
Mongolian Adventure With Land Rover, Road
and Travel Magazine
Michael Herzing and Lynn David Cole,
Photo Published in Print
John R. Fulton, Jr., Haul It, Scouting
Photos Published On Internet
Michael Herzing, Night Skyline,
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION WOMEN’S HALL OF FAME
Buffalo, NY. Pierce-Arrow Museum, First Inductee Class
Marketer of The Year
MAMA Holiday Social, Champs, Lombard, IL
Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Breakfast Seminar,
2010 Forecast, Ann Arbor Marriott, MI
APA NACTOY Luncheon, Detroit, MI
WAPA, Luncheon, National Press Club, Alternative Energy
SAMA, Annual Holiday Party, TBD
Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, "America's Most Beautiful
NAIAS Press Review, Detroit, MI
Automotive News World Congress, Detroit, MI
On Wheels, Urban 2010 Car, Truck and Green Vehicles of
the Year, Sound Board Theater, Motor City Hotel and Casino, Detroit, MI
NEMPA Dinner, P.J. O'Rourke, Boston, MA
AutoWeek Design Forum, College for Creative Studies,
Detroit Economic Club, Automotive Hall of Fame Awards
Luncheon, Detroit, MI
3rd Annual Wheels of Wellness Vintage Race Car Showcase,
The Wellness Community, Phoenix, AZ
Chicago Economic Club's Chicago Auto Show Luncheon
Meeting, (Media must pre-register), Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne
WAPA, Washington Auto Show Press Kickoff, Ford CEO, Alan
Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA, "Fantasies in
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.
Automotive Press Association, Detroit - Katie Kerwin
International Motor Press
Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President -
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Midwest Automotive Media
Association, Chicago -
Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -
New England Motor
Press Association, Boston -
Automotive Press Association, Bellevue, WA-
Phoenix Automotive Press
Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver, Mike Cotsworthy, President,
Southern Automotive Media
Association, Miami FL, Ron Beasley, President,
Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC
Texas Auto Writers Association
http://www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Mike Herzing,
of North America,www.twna.org Tom Kelley, Executive Director,
Western Automotive Journalists,
San Francisco - www.waj.org, Ron Harrison
Automotive Press Association, D.C., Rick Trawick, Presidentwww.washautopress.org
The following are some comments that were posted on the blog and
sent directly to us:
many internet sites do not yet have much of a budget to hire
professional writers, some do and it's worthwhile to search
those publications out instead of giving away your talent for
free to those online publications who don't value your talent
enough to pay for them.
old saying "why buy the milk if the cow is free" scenario in
automotive journalism these days. It may be tempting to give
your articles free to internet publications (looking for
"publicity" ) but as long as they can get them for free they will
never pay. There are some publication that do pay for articles
and those are the ones we should be seeking as a place to send
High Gear Media
calls itself “ . . . a next generation media company that
publishes more automotive content than anyone in the world
through websites targeting key buyer and vehicle segments . . .”
gone to the trouble of reading through the rules of their
“writing contest” and visiting several of their websites, I
believe I can clearly describe their business model:
Gear’s use of the term “open content platform” is a loosely
disguised way of saying, “You write for free.”
it what it is: Journalistic slavery.
no respect for editorial and they have no respect for writers,
automotive or otherwise.
they give you a byline . . . and that must be worth something.
Not to me
it isn’t. And I hope it isn’t to anyone else with professional
one, will never visit any of their websites again. In this
arena the eyeballs have it. And without “eyes” High Gear will
quickly meet its demise.
also hope that any legitimate advertiser would see through this
scam for what it is and not advertise on any High Gear site.
Let your ad dollars do the talking . . . and the walking.
I am also
disappointed that an organization such as Tesla would have
allowed itself to be sucked into participating in this “writing
contest sham.” Did anyone at Tesla read the rules?
thing that could happen would be for no one to submit anything
to High Gear. Those
will get your message across loud and clear. And leave High
Gear idling in neutral with a real mess on their hands.
High Gear Media
Win a Tesla test? What planet are we on?
Oh, I get it send in your boxtops and you too can be a journalist.
Re: November Road Ahead
automotive technical writer, I see so much misinformation,
disinformation and nonsense on the internet it makes me wonder
how anybody gets accurate information.
problem with mob-sourced media is that the blind are often
leading the blind. And those who shout the loudest and longest
garner most of the attention whether they are right or wrong.
website is going to provide accurate information or informative
reviews, you need informed writers and editors creating the
allowing reader comments following an article or dialogue, I
think it distracts from the content unless the article is
controversial or is open to
opinion. Many follow-up comments are off the subject, are posted
to promote a product or another website, or are of minimal
value in my opinion. Consequently, you waste a lot of time
deleting junk comments and responding to silly questions that
don't really deserve a response.
And a Holiday Greeting from Bill Maloney: this link to a great
collection of U.S. car brochures:
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