Jimmy Dinsmore is first and foremost a journalist. He says, “Writing is in my blood, it’s who I am.” He started writing in high school and continued at the University of Cincinnati where he wrote his way up to Editor-in-Chief of the school’s daily newspaper, the UC Record.
Before he became the automotive writer for Cox Media Group he covered health care, business and real estate but not autos, even as a sideline or hobby. And he wasn’t a weekend racer or do-it-yourselfer auto mechanic.
That didn’t make him flinch from the assignment. He says, “I like to think that writers write. Whatever the subject.” The corollary to that is Malcolm Gladwell’s advice, “If you want to be a writer, take up accounting. If you want to write, write.”
He accepted the fact that he had to learn on the job: listening to the advice of others but sticking with his own style and “taking advantage of every chance I get to educate myself, through reading trades and even textbooks, attending events and mostly just listening to other car people.”
Now, his weekly auto reviews are carried in The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton Journal-News and Middletown Journal, all Cox newspapers in Ohio and recently, the Cox newspaper in Austin, Texas, the Austin American-Statesman. A native of Ohio and resident of Cincinnati, he commutes 50 miles each way to Dayton, providing ample seat time in the cars he reviews.
His first review was the 2011 Ford Taurus and while a fan of many other auto reviewers, he has developed his own style. Now two years into auto journalism he says, “. . . this is my passion, my calling for sure. That much I know.”
As for the future of auto journalism, Dinsmore believes, “Those who say that the internet makes auto journalism unnecessary are foolish. All auto writers are content creators – creative minds if you will. That content may be generated on paper with ink, it might be created on the Internet on a blog, or it might be on social media, but it’s still valuable content. It’s just the method of delivery changes, but not the standards. The Internet can’t affect the standards auto reviewers live by.