Auto journalists are getting kicked by their brethren and ignored in at least one case by their sources. . . . The Truth About Cars Edward Niedermeyer says “the pimpatorial game is becoming more subtle and cites the participation of Jean Jennings and her Automobile Magazine staff in one of Ford’s sock puppet TV commercials. He also criticizes Motor Trend boss Angus MacKenzie’s “Subaru-funded adventure of personal discovery” that was featured in both his publication and Subaru’s Drive Magazine. He says, about the new trend away from straight out testimonials, “to paraphrase Homer Simpson, I like my beer cold, my meat red, and my sell-outs shameless.” How about entertaining or interesting? . . .. Matt Hardigree, referencing a Lexus crashed at the recent IMPA Test Days writes on Jalopnik, “While some track-day crashes are just unfortunate accidents, others are the inevitable result of over-privileged “journalists” given free reign over press cars at a track. The kind of “journalists” who show up to a friendly driving event dressed in a full racing suit with their own helmet in tow (that’s not a joke, that happened in Texas). People who think they’re invincible because, if they have enough readers, they are.” As a class, he says of writers who get to test drive cars, “We’re all a bunch of over-privileged jerks, but at least I’m willing to be honest about it.”
In a persuasive September 4 Torque News article by Frank Sherosky headlined: ” Split-cycle engine technology to challenge EV and hybrids” the author says, “With all respect to the hard-hitting, hard-working automotive journalists and the writing trade, I find it silly that so many educated people are trusting their futurist automotive information mostly from media types who perhaps never designed a car in their life, or have limited technical or engineering savvy, so they end up relying far too much on the OEM public relations teams feeding them details through closely-guarded news releases. Where is the trustworthy research that journalism is supposed to glean? (Yeah, I know I’ll hear it for this one) “If we as citizens surely deserve automotive efficiency at a cost all of us can afford, then the automotive journalists have to do more than just report on news releases. They need to report, yes; but also cajole the industry toward what is in the best interests of society; otherwise, journalists risk being nothing more than digital recordings for the auto industry.”
From being insulted to being ignored, Automotive News tells of GM’s Sonic Launch skipping the usual media conference and going directly to consumers with gaming and social media to create buzz about the youth-targeted model. . . .At least there is a chance BMW will share its motor oil scented cologne (recently distributed to pro golfers) with ink and digital stained wretches.