Road Signs – May 2010

In case there was any question, the Center For Automotive Research (CAR) reports that the automotive industry continues to contribute significantly to the U.S, economy and employment. Specifically, 1.7 million jobs. CAR reports the industry’s impact in each of the 50 states and is available at www.cargroup.org.

The Washington Post Company is hoping its trash may be another company’s treasure. Chairman Donald Graham acknowledged in putting Newsweek Magazine up for sale that they couldn’t stem the red ink and it might be a better fit elsewhere . . . Brandwire reports GQ Magazine unveiled a bespoke plug-in hybrid Citron in England last March to go with its branded tailored suits, after shave and hand-made shoes. . . . Wooden Horse News revealed that Canada’s Auto Journal Group has filed for bankruptcy and its six motor magazines are undergoing changes. Which may be why some U.S, freelancers have complained about slow or no pay from work they did for unnamed outlets north of the border.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence In Journalism revealed editors at newspaper-related companies “praise the cultural shifts in their organizations, the younger tech-savvy staff and a growing sense of experimentation,” According to Mediapost.com, half of those surveyed believe their operation will survive another 10 years without significant new sources of revenue. . . . A good thing, too, because a recent Nielsen survey of 27,000 consumers across 52 countries revealed that 78% of them believe that if they already subscribe to a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV service they should be able to use its online content for free- as reported by Gavin O’Malley in Online Media Daily.

And, as a Pew State of the Media Report puts it in a felicitous conclusion, writes Jacqui Cheng in Ars Technica, “when it comes to online news, getting people to pay for content they otherwise value is “like trying to force butterflies back into their cocoons.” . . . While it is presently too expensive for most individual users at $295.00 a year and likely too ponderous for daily news use, a new online resource Wired Magazine describes as “the Anti-Google”, Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO) has been launched by Oxford University Press. According to Wired it is, “essentially a straightforward, hyperlinked collection of professionally-produced bibliographies in different subject areas. The idea is to alleviate the twin problems of Google-induced data overload, on the one hand, and Wikipedia-driven GIGO (garbage in, garbage out), on the other.”

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