The Tom-Tom: Jeff Zurschmeide

There’s nothing wrong with covering an industry and events from the outside. That’s the traditional reporter’s role, and objectivity frequently demands that we not get too close to the people and events we’re covering. Yet there’s value in getting your hands dirty - particularly if you’re covering motorsports.

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Autowriters Spotlight: Joe Sage

Launching a magazine is a challenge. Chasing the automotive segment can be a challenge. And hiring effective sales staff is a big challenge. In the wake of 911, all was even more so. The first printed effort went from late 2002 through late 2003. Joe kept producing full PDF versions, posted online. The calendar pages flipped and flew off like the segue in an old movie. But the magazine continued to hear from fans, both personal and in the industry, and continued to receive credentials, press invites and test vehicles. There was clearly still horsepower in the concept.

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Road Signs 04.2008

On Pulitzer Day in the newspaper world, the Seattle Times announced it is slicing nearly 200 persons from its staff, closing two suburban bureaus and ceasing publication of two 30-year-old zone editions. It is the latest in a long list of cities where major newspapers have severely reduced their staff: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco are among them. Dow Jones put staff cutbacks at 7 percent overall for the industry as compared with its peak in 2000.

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Road Ahead 04.2008

A Canadian research firm found social media users put far more trust in friends and family than popular bloggers. Overall, the study concluded: ”social media remains chiefly a mode of communication and personal expression, rather than a source of credible information.”

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