July 2010 Passing Scene

Chrysler’s Ed Garsten was quoted by Bradford Wernle in Automotive News with this frank assessment of auto journalism in his explanation of why the carmaker shut down its freewheeling Firehouse Blog, “While still depending on the press for important coverage of our company, we’re now able to also promote our news, positions, and products directly to the public through social media without waiting, hoping the media will pick up particular stories or angles that benefit us.”.

The Journalism Shop began last summer as a co-op of former Los Angeles Times staffers. It is looking to add highly qualified journalists from across the country (international applicants will be considered). The expansion is timed with the launch of Ebyline, a web-based marketplace designed to match freelance reporters with carefully chosen publishers. Membership in the Journalism Shop is $100.00 per year and applicants must have five years experience at a major newspaper and not have a full time job, among other requirements. For more information see: http://www.thejournalismshop.com.

An article citing instances of auto journalists influencing the design of cars can be read at: http://www.mpegtech.com/article/view/cps-6/id-16663 . . . Joe Marchese reports in Online Media Daily (June 16) that online advertising is poised to supplant newspapers as the world’s No.2 ad medium, according to a recent report by ad agency Interpublic’s Magna Global unit. . . . Citing a report by SFAppeal blogger Eve Batey, SFWeekly says You Tube is working on some clandestine journalism projects in San Francisco. Batey, who was among those contacted, says she was referred to an Atlantic Magazine article, “How To Save The News” to explain what was underfoot. From that article, SFWeekly quoted: “Amateur-produced video is perhaps the most powerful new tool of the Internet era in journalism…The idea behind the various YouTube projects is that the same newspapers that once commanded an audience with printed reports…could re-create their central role by becoming a clearinghouse for video reports.”- perhaps the motivation for Kelley Blue Book’s amateur car review video contest.

The aforementioned Joe Marchese wonders in a July 6 column, “if there will be any news sources that can be distinguishable from editorial opinion produced to attract the largest audience at the lowest cost.” His concern is: “The ability of well-researched (re: expensive) journalism to monetize effectively is nonexistent today in a digital world that can, and does, churn out more content everyday than people can possibly consume.” . . . A behavioral marketing firm will soon be checking your emotions and sending ads to please them. Laurie Sullivan, reports in Behavioral Insider, (June 16), Lotame “will soon have the ability to scan content across the Web, as people create it, and associate content creators with the emotions they express about brands, activities and other topics.”