the road ahead
The market forces re-shaping our media need not
result in the fears James Fallows described in
Atlantic Monthly and quoted in last month's
Autowriters Newsletter. Paraphrased they are:
An age of lies, idiocy and a complete Babel of
Failure to adequately cover much of what really
A society pulverized into granules and separate
A continual-distraction machine weakening our
ability to think, concentrate and decide.
A Wikipedia type rationale for
hope is offered by
Mashable's Vadim Larusik who believes "Social media
has created a human filter for quality media. It
affirms that there's still a big need for in-depth
journalism and news stories. In fact, news stories
were tweeted more often than gossip or opinion
pieces," according to data from The Daily.
Reader Jesse Bowers offers a half-time speech
rebuttal to lead off our sidebar
Talk Back section
in this Newsletter. Sort of a "nothing to fear " or
"and we can do it again" rejoinder that, itself,
evokes the stock prospectus caution: "past
performance is no guarantee of future results."
A more scientific reason for optimism is found on
YouTube in a lecture on the brain's development by
Dr. Joan Stiles, a professor in the cognitive
research department on the San Diego campus of the
University of California. Titled "Grey Matters,
From Molecules to Mind" it is mostly about the
physical growth and organization of the emergent
brain. However, she offers evidence that the
environment interacts with and stimulates the growth
and functioning of the brain and, arguably,
continues to do so throughout our adult life.
Increasing interaction with an unceasing and
invasive data flow could expand the brain's capacity
and ability to absorb, retain, access, prioritize
and organize data.
For those who can't wait for evolution, Kathy
Colbin's column in Mediapost offers a rhapsodic view
of the near future and media. She writes: "We are
rapidly reaching the point where our world is
continuously created anew, as we want it, as we
imagine it, with few if any cost or complexity
barriers. It is arising dynamically, in response to
who we are, what we seek, and our changing
circumstances. The past moment has faded away, the
future moment has not yet arisen, and all we have
left is the present, eternally manifesting itself."
She reached that point by contemplating implications
in being able to populate one location on the cloud
with all of our online identity and making our
online experience device independent. "Who cares if
it's iPhone or Android, if all we're doing is
connecting to our universal, disembodied identity in
the cloud? Grab a phone, any phone, and you've got
your personal setup, instantly generated on an
as-needed basis." From there, she goes to the
convergence of media on the web, the increased
ability to provide users with "what I want: when and
how I want it." An on demand world where not just
products but even human organs (recently a kidney)
are printed on demand.
More immediately, "At some point nearly all
magazines will be printed on demand," Andrew Bolwell
of Hewlett-Packard's MagCloud service, which prints,
distributes and takes orders for magazines, is
quoted by Wooden Horse News.
Wooden Horse News quotes a Conde Nast executive as saying all 20 of its
publications will have a digital edition by the year end. . . . Automobile
Magazine added a $4 Ipad edition shortly before completing its 25th year of
publication this month. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio told Detroit News interviewer
Melissa Preddy that the magazine will continue to rely on its historic
strengths: "travel and adventure and story telling that is car-related" (and
columnists with attitude) entering its second quarter century. . . . Bob
Garfield 's Advertising Age column referenced elsewhere in this issue makes the
very real point that "Brand Journalism," a phrase brought to the fore by
marketers employing social media, is an oxymoron. "Journalism is conducted at
arm's length, and brands have grasping hands."
Sometimes it is good to be
a PR man. From England's Media Digest: "It has long been a habit of writers on
the Daily Mail to behave occasionally as caricatures of a Victorian maiden aunt
who has suddenly come upon an uncovered male member. And so it was this week,
when they set about the PR Director of Audi who has been invited to Prince
William’s wedding. It appears that the behaviour which so shocked Associated’s
guardians of public morals was his gambit to lease cars at favourable rates to
various members of the Royal Family and, as a consequence, gain one of the
coveted tickets. Many PR folk, of course, view Audi’s PR budget with deep-seated
envy and wish that they too could supply cars to the rich and famous and enjoy
the consequent publicity. Just how cynical is it to suggest that this latter
view in some way spawned the story? The fact is, of course, that Audi PR has
long been a major supporter of many of the Royal Family’s pet charities, as well
as a supplier of leased cars. But perhaps the Mail’s shocked scribes have
forgotten that it is not that long ago that as well as writing the occasional
news story, the prime task of their own motoring correspondent was to arrange
cars for proprietor, editor and other executives. And it wasn’t just the Mail’s
motoring man who was charged with this vital task. It used to be a Fleet Street
fact that unless the motoring man got his boss a decent motor, he didn’t stay
the paper’s motoring man for long. The Siberia of the industrial desk loomed
large in the mind when a note came down from on high saying: ‘I need a decent
motor for the weekend’.
I wonder if anyone from the Mail has been invited to the wedding?
Maureen McDonald sent along this Dodge TV spot discovered possibly while doing research for
The Sirens of Chrome book a year or so back. It features perky models and was
banned from the air she says, back in the quaint '69 - '70 season. Click on
the image to play the commercial.
David Koretz, writing for Online Publishing Insider, offers these
This year, publishers worldwide will serve more than seven trillion display
ads. Those ads will be sold by hundreds of thousands of publishers, more
than 400 ad networks, and a growing number of DSPs. To make matters worse,
the amount of online advertising inventory is growing at rates of more than
50% year over year as mobile devices and 4G help skyrocket the number of
2012 alone could add three trillion impressions to the pile of inventory
that has to be sold.
Fortunately, not all of this inventory is car-related but enough to create a
huge demand for auto-related content – thereby placing quantity ahead of
quality and diluting the rewards for providers.
General Motors Chairman Dan Akerson may call them 1 million "Nerds" but
happily calls them U.S. Prius owners. . . . Jim Meigs, editor-in-chief of
Mechanics at a recent E-Reading Digital Conference, sponsored by the
of Magazine Media: "Magazines have been liberated from the limitations of
paper." -Wooden Horse News 03/27/11.
Edmunds.com points to the past decade's uptick in traffic deaths
involving older drivers as a concern to be addressed at its national safety
conference in Washington DC. May 24. Sean Kane disagrees and defends his "auto
safety" territory in The Safety Report Blog. It may also keep senior drivers
free of unwarranted new regulations. He quotes statistician Randy Whitfield:
"Edmunds asked why there are more traffic deaths in 2009 compared to 2000 within
the 51-65 age group, while all other age groups have fewer deaths. An answer
that does not involve recourse to unmeasured, hypothetical driver attitudes
toward safety is that there are so many more drivers in this age group in 2009
than there were in 2000. Conversely, part of the explanation for the reduction
in male driver deaths in other age groups is simply that the size of that
subpopulation has remained relatively stable."
248 Miles Per Gallon
Ron Beasley sent along photos and information on this $699 car that allegedly
gets 248 miles per gallon.
The car was introduced at a Volkswagen stockholders meeting as the
most economical car in the world. It is slated to be released in China next
Only a one seater however (a two seater rumored to be not far behind). The body
is 3.47 meters long and just 1.25 meters wide, and a little over a meter
high. The prototype was made completely of carbon fiber and is not painted to
save weight. The power plant is a one cylinder diesel positioned ahead of the
rear axle and combined with an automatic shift controlled by a knob in
the interior. Safety was not compromised as the impact and roll-over protection
is comparable to the GT racing cars.
No Miles Per Gallon
The Detroit Bureau reports, "If European regulators follow through on a proposal
now getting serious consideration all fossil fuel-powered vehicles could be
banned from the Continent’s roadways by 2050." The auto-centric news service
says the plan would be phased in over the next four decades, with
the number of gas and diesel-powered automobiles being cut in half by 2030.
A study from www.TrueCar.com, based on over eight million retail purchases last year
"shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased
fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite,
purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or
chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle," according to Jesse Toprak, vice
president of industry trends and insights at the consumer auto-shopping site.
Brands with nearly 50% women buyers were, in order: Mini, Kia and
with the highest percentage of male buyers (less than 10% female buyers) were;
Ferrari, Lotus, Lamborghini, Maybach and Rolls
Bloomberg News says Zipcar vastly exceeded expectation for its IPO. Raising some
$175 million. The company offers its members car sharing by the hour in 50
cities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and on 150 college
campuses. It owns and operates an 8,000-vehicle fleet representing 30 makes and
models, including hybrids and pickups.
Zip Up or Out
Tom Forbes, writing for Marketing Daily's The Top of The News, quotes
Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield about a Chrysler ad agency
fired for a personal twitter he authored that offended the client: He was "fired
for being funny... fired for being spontaneous... fired for being
relevant. Fired for alighting ever so gently, like a canary taking its perch, on
a dowel of human truth. You know -- the way social media is supposed to be,
because the whole point of it is to discard archaic and abrasive concepts of
messaging in favor of actual conversations." . . . Aflac fired the voice of its duck,
comedian Gilbert Gottfried, over insensitive remarks he tweeted about the
tsunami in Japan, Mathew Ingram points out that engaging in actual conversations
is even more difficult for newspaper journalists." A case in point, he writes
in a GIGAOM posting, a new social-media policy introduced at a major newspaper in
Canada, which tells its staff not to express personal opinions — even on their
personal accounts or pages — and not to engage with readers in the comments. It
is hardly alone among newspapers, large and small, he notes. Ingram says it is
too late. As journalism professor Jay Rosen has argued, the "view from nowhere"
that mainstream media continues to defend is not only dying, but arguably does
readers a disservice — since it often distorts the news in order to maintain a
perfectly balanced view of events. Although some journalists have started to
admit they have personal interests and causes, that remains rare.
"But the main point being missed," Ingram writes, "is that social media is
powerful precisely because it is personal. If you remove the personal aspect,
all you have is a glorified news release wire or RSS feed. The best way to make
social media work is to allow reporters and editors to be themselves, to be
human, and to engage with readers through Twitter and Facebook and comments and
blogs. Is there a risk that someone might say something wrong? Of course there
is. But without that human touch, there is no point in doing it at all."
A Competitor For Arianna
Tech Crunch reports: The Washington Post Company has launched its free,
personalized, social news site and aggregator Trove in public beta.
Trove aggregates news across subjects of interest and important headlines of the
day, from more than 10,000 sources. The news site factors in a reader’s likes
and dislikes, combining algorithms with ‘expertise from the newsroom’ (news of
the day selected by an editorial team).
Trove takes advantage of Facebook Connect to pull in a user’s interests as
outlined by his or her Facebook profile to help jump start the personalization
part of the equation. More social media features and site capabilities are
slated to be added in the coming months.
Arianna recently said competitors using pay walls are good for The Huffington
Post. Trove, as noted, is free. She also has said a quality product can't be
produced by hundreds of freelancers. Perhaps a defense against the many unpaid
contributors suing her for a share of the proceeds from her sale of the online
news (and bloviating) source to AOL. That suit is so without merit, she says,
that she devoted the lead article of one issue to it, citing all the reasons it was
baseless and could never win, without once describing what the suit was about.
Gary Grant is in this month's spotlight because some of you may want to know
more about him when considering his
win-win-win offer. And, if it helps you decide
to accept, it's good for Autowriters.com :-)
Gary Grant literally climbed his way out of an auto industry pit to
own business in the auto media world. No doubt he was fated
to be a "car guy" from
time he was just a few months old and his Dad, an auto racer, took him
to Mosport. In his teen years he wrenched for a friend who raced Karts
and made after-school money changing oil in a fast lube pit. From there
it was new car dealerships for 20 years, moving to service writer and
then service manager for domestic, European and Asian outlets.
A guest gig on a Toronto radio station's call-in auto show lasted 18
months and fueled Grant's interest in the the auto world's media niche.
He became an auto blogger in 2004 and began to learn Word Press. In 2005 he launched
www.thegarageblog.com with fresh
content provided by a rotating cast of writers from the U.S. and
Canada. Based on that success he began creating web sites for others. Samples of the work
he has done can be found at
In addition to thegarageblog.com he operates
By 2009 Grant was sufficiently confident in his web media skills to
leave the dealership world and rely on his web-know how, writing
ability, and his photography talents. In 2010 he began snapping for the
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and Castrol Canadian Touring Car teams. He
is a member of IMPA and ARPA. He can be reached at
The Media Digest reports that two major dailies doing battle for readers
in England are going to take their fight to America as well. Both The
Daily Mail and the Guardian have revealed plans to open editorial
offices here with intent to boost their online presence among the
"Yanks." MailOnline is also in the process of developing news operations
on the West Coast, hiring staff from Los Angeles. The Digest writes:
"Although both papers have vastly opposing target demographics, both
believe they can increase readership across the pond." Brand Republic
media analyst Arif Durrani is quoted, "it’s clear enough: both media
groups have forsaken any kind of online paywall in favour of open mass
reach, so expanding in the world’s largest and most affluent
English-speaking market appears something of a no-brainer."
A "robot "was deemed as writing the better story when given the facts of
a recent baseball game. Will Roberts pitched
a perfect game for the
University of Virginia team. It was compared to
a human authored account printed by his school's paper. The live story
waited until the second-to-last paragraph to mention the perfect game
although it was the first in NCAA play since 2002. The facts were fed to
a Narrative Science software program and the story produced led with the
perfect game. Writers for sports website
Deadspin, vocal skeptics of
stories, compared the two and acknowledged the automated account was the
Mark Walsh, writing for Online Media Daily, reports that
an additional $1.5 million of funding in order to expand its editorial,
sales and marketing activities. He writes, "The Newsy app, available
via the iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices, has gained
attention for its 2-minute videos that highlight the differences in
coverage of a given story by media outlets worldwide. The idea is to
provide context around major news events in a format tailored to an
May 2 is the deadline for MAMA members to register for its Spring
Rally at Road America.
Performance Driving, Off-Roading, Autocross and Scenic Drives are
offered along with an opportunity to drive the candidates for MAMA's Family Car of The Year. Contact:
WheelsTV is taking its in-house Previously Owned Vehicle (POV) of
the Year award to NEMPA members. They are being asked to nominate 2
to 3 year-old vehicles in seven classes. The three top nominees in
each class will be discussed at an event hosted by WheelsTV and
winners determined. They will be announced at NEMPA's awards dinner
May 20. Criteria for POV cars include: repair history, recall data,
IIHS and NSTA safety rating and consumer feedback.
NEMPA's awards dinner May 20 will be held at MIT following
an afternoon industry round table there on Connectivity and The Car:
"the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics in
vehicles and in conjunction with controlling vehicles on the move."
It will be moderated by
MIT Grad Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk with panelists from
Hughes Telematics, BMW, Ford, GM and
Car enthusiasts in the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose Bay areas
can gather for
a free monthly Saturday morning "shoe and shine" outing at
Auto Sport in San Jose. The idea is that car lovers cruise in or may
trailer a collectible in and enjoy the people and the variety of
vehicles on hand. CarProperty.com is sponsoring the series,
and free coffee, as part
of a new marketing partnership with Club Auto Sport.
The Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) named the
Nissan Murano Cabriollet "Best In The Show" at the
international Auto Show March 25. GAAMA also presented Peach Awards
to the Hyundai Equs as Best New Vehicle; Nissan Leaf,
Vehicle; Ford Explorer, Best Truck/SUV and Land Rover
GAAMA officers elected March 23 are: Ryan Rees, president;
Backer of Upscale Magazine, senior vice president; Linda Sharp of
Distaff Publications, vice president; Priscila Rivere of
Heels, secretary. Bob Jackson of CBS Radio, an at-large
representative. Greg Morrison of Griot TV remains treasurer along
with at-large members Araba Dowell of General Motors and
Rene Serrato of Prestige Autos USA. Rees, who writes a weekly auto review
column, The Car Couple, with his wife, Marilyn, takes over for
Tucker, publisher of Southern Automotive Journal, who remains on the
board as president emeritus.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC will help TAWA kick off the
2011 Texas Auto Roundup (formerly Spring Challenge) for the third
consecutive year by hosting lunch, a vehicle display, a tour of
Texas art in its building and (hopefully) helicopter tours on
Sunday, May 1, from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at its Fort Worth
Business Operations Center.
The Riverside International Automotive Museum will allow two of its
historic race cars to perform on the Auto Club Speedway, Fontana,
Calif. The weekend of April 29-May 1 Tony Adamowicz will drive his
1969 F5000 championship Gurney Eagle on the road course. The very
first Gurney Eagle, the 1966 4 cam Ford V8 Eagle which Dan drove at
the 1966 Indy 500 will be on track as well, driven by RIAM president
There will be two guest cars from RIAM on the track. The Sunoco
Indy Lola, driven to a second place finish by Mark Donohue at the
1970 Indy 500, and the Indy Lola driven by Roger Ward at the 1966
Indy 500 will be making one last run before heading back to
Doug Evans, Source Interlink Media, V.P., has been named chairman of the
"Save The Salt Coalition" formed to replenish the depleted salt at the
storied Bonneville Salt Flats. Among the
coalition members seeking ways to avoid and repair the deterioration
caused by potasch mining next to the site are: SEMA, Southern California
Timing Association, local racing associations and Source Interlink.
Donald Trump, scheduled to drive the pace car. Shades of Eldon Palmer.
And shades of Evil Knievel, a masked daredevil attempting a world-record
four wheel vehicle jump the morning of the race. What race? Oh yes, what
used to be all on its own the most famous and most watched single auto
race in the world, The Indianapolis 500. In the past, sports writers
spent what one of them, Deke Houlgate, called it the "year of May" in the
Hoosier capital pumping out stories from every angle: driver's diets,
wardrobes, hobbies, and more, feeding the national interest
in the race. ...Maybe that is why National Speed Sport News shut
down its press and today is online only (www.nationalspeedsportnews.com), catering
to today's audience that can't wait. Instant results and on to the next
Media registration is now open for the SEMA Show in
Las Vegas, Nov. 4,2011. Check www.SEMAshow.com/register. . . . The
Austin Texas Grand Prix race track, site for a Formula One race in the U.S in 2012, has been named "Circuit of America,"
Steven Cole Smith
reports in AutoWeek. Also, that the 20-turn, 3.4 mile track will host
motorcycle races starting in 2013. . . . Auto Pacific's periodic survey
of its Vehicle Voce internet panel confirmed what has always been the
case: American car buyers want better fuel efficiency but don't want to
drive smaller cars, SUVs or pickups. The research and consulting firm
says the government will have a tough time artificially stimulating
demand for smaller vehicles if car companies are going to meet looming
fuel economy regulations. Gas prices, however, may do it.
James Saulsbury with the National Transportation Research Lab (www.ornl.gov)
advises that the government is now offering a fuel economy sticker used
car sellers can download and paste on the windshield of their car. He
says that the fuel economy of a properly maintained car changes very
little over a typical 15 years of use and therefore the original EPA
estimates can be a reliable indicator. The stickers can be downloaded
at: www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ . . . The
24-Hours of LeMons believes it
can help save the U.S. Economy and offers a twisted road course of
reasoning to support that contention, ending with this quote allegedly
from the mouth of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: "Each LeMons
race converts the irrational exuberance of the market into the
irrational expectation that a Peugeot can win an endurance race, and
simultaneously drives thousands of talentless, zero-experience chuckalucks into the market for domestically manufactured items such as
Bondo, malt liquor, and divorce counseling."
An animated illustration of this process is offered at:
Or, check www.driversdoor.com
for "Crapcan Race Will Restore US. Economy."
car by the Morgan Motor Company.
Retro Formula 1 may not do the same for Great Britain's economy
but they are trying with a new, licensed, Cosworth DFV T-Shirt featuring the original blueprint of the DFV on the
front with the back dedicated to the Formula constructors and drivers
who won world championships with the iconic engine. For more information
contact Andrew Smith at: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
website: www.retroformula1.com. . . . The best and the worst of the 2011
cars as designated by the Center for Auto Safety are in the 31st edition
of The Car Book. Journalists who would like
a review copy can email Julia Redmon at
Julia@jagilis.com or telephone
her at 202-737-0766. . . .
And, for those who would like to see how a handcrafted car is built,
click here for a series of photos with brief text, that shows how the
Morgan Motor Company has been doing it pretty much the same way as it did
when it started 100 years ago.
Karl Brauer has left Edmunds.com after 13 years there. He says a new
opportunity awaits and in the meantime he can be reached at:
. . . Former Oregonian writer Bob Kehoe has switched his email to:
email@example.com. - - Also moseying to the frontier is freelance
tech writer Mike Mayrigan who now can be reached at
. . . Lindsay Dechacco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-650-2732 is
now editor for AAA Arizona. . . .The correct email address for Jodi
Pillsbury editor for the AASP News serving Minnesota members of the
Allied Automotive Service Providers is email@example.com
. . . Motor Age
managing editor Tschanen Neiderkohr is now Tschanen Brandyberry and her
email is now: firstname.lastname@example.org . . .
Connie Harper is the
auto contact for the Call & Post in Cleveland. Her email is:
. . .Scott Burgess and the The Detroit News have made up and he is once
again the paper's auto critic. He told Autoline Daily that he is still
writing thank you notes to the many persons who wrote or called to offer
support. . . . Aaron Kessler is now with the Washington Bureau of The
Detroit Free Press. He can be emailed at:
akessler@Freepress.com . . .
Ben Klayman has switched from sports business correspondent for
to an automotive correspondent for the news service
in Detroit. His email is: email@example.com . . .
Ruth Manuel-Logan, formerly with Woman's Day, is now an Examiner
autos editor based in Trumbull Ct.
across the finish line
David E. Davis, Jr., Auto Journalist Extraordinaire.
Glenn F. Campbell
table of contents
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awards honors and events
This just in: Margie Petersen & the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation have gifted the
Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation approximately $100,000,000.
The race is over but the face is fresh. General Tire crowned
Keli Snyder, a University of Southern California journalism
student and a television host for Lucas Oil, as this year's
Miss Mint 400 - after
a national internet competition, the press release said.
Nissan Leaf was bestowed the "World Car of The Year Award" at
the New York Auto Show.
Other winners of World awards selected by 66 jurors from six
continents were: Chevrolet Volt, Green Car of The Year,
Martin Rapide, World Car Design of the Year and Ferrari 458
Italia, World Performance Car of The Year.
Ford Motor Company won Polk's Automotive Loyalty Award which is
based on numbers of households returning to market to purchase
or lease a new vehicle of the same model or make as the one they
are replacing. Ford boosted loyalty rates by 4.5 percentage
points and led all brands with an owner loyalty rate of 60.3%
for the full year. General Motors was second. Toyota,
July 8 has been declared by the U.S. Senate as "Car Collector
Appreciation Day," thanks to the efforts of SEMA, its
Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and the Hot Road
Alliance (HRIA). Begun last year, the day celebrates the
nation's automotive heritage and the sponsoring organizations
will gladly partner with individuals, businesses and organizations
car cruises, club gatherings or other related activities.
The Detroit Bureau's Paul Eisenstein says
put the soul in the Kia Soul to win Nielsen Automotive
Advertising's 2011 Ad of the Year as selected by a panel of
industry pros. Other winners were Ford (2): Best Sales
Campaign and Best Green Ad; Toyota: Best Spanish language TV
ads; and Mercedes: Best Luxury auto ads.
Edmunds.com is hosting a one-day conference on the future of car
safety on May 24. in Washington, DC It is titled: "Truly Safe?
Debunking Myths and Crafting Policies for Car Safety."
Authorities from various disciplines will speak, debate and
interact with the audience.
More information is available at
Registration is accessible directly at
Bill Hensyl of Timonium, Maryland won "The People's Choice
Award" at this year's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. For
what wasn't in the announcement but scale-model enthusiast Bill Warner,
impresario of the event, was happy to report that the award
itself was a Bobby Rahal-autographed 1/18 scale model of the
colorful Apple-sponsored Porsche 935 that Rahal drove in the
IMSA series and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year's Concours
may become an historic moment in the annals of the event for
having both the recently deceased David E. Davis, Jr. and
Brock Yates on the judges panel.
IMPA, Luncheon, 3 West Club, NYC, Smart Phones for Autos
Pacific Coast Dream Machine, Half Moon Bay Airport,
TAWA Texas Auto Roundup, Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth
CARS Conference, Dearborn, MI, Auto Workforce
APA, Luncheon, Michelin Design Panel, Detroit, A.C.
MPG, Luncheon, Kia
APA, Luncheon, Robert Bosch, Detroit, A.C.
IMPA Spring Break, Bear Mountain State Park, NY
NEMPA, Vehicle Connectivity Conference and Awards Dinner,
MAMA Spring Rally Manufacturer's Dinner, Elkhart Lake, WI
MAMA Spring Rally, Elkhart Lake, WI
APA Luncheon, Detroit, A.C., GM Financial
SAMA Luncheon, GM, site and date to be determined
Petersen Auto Museum, New Exhibit Opens, Scooters
APA Luncheon, Detroit, A.C., JD Powers
SAMA Luncheon, Mazda, site and date to be determined
NEMPA Ragtop Ramble, Crustacean Crawl, Boston, MA
motoring press organizations
The 16 regional automotive press associations provide
information and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are too distant for you to attend their meetings,
belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of
these events and other benefits.
Automotive Press Association, Detroit -
Joann Muller, President,
American Racing Press Association- Stan Clinton, President,
International Motor Press Association, NYC, Mike Spinelli, President -
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Midwest Automotive Media
Association, Chicago , IL-
Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -
New England Motor
Press Association, Boston, MA -
Automotive Press Association, Portland, OR, Jeff Zurschmeide,
Phoenix Automotive Press
Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -
Southern Automotive Media
Association, Miami FL, Paul Borden, President,
Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC
Texas Auto Writers Association
www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Mike Herzing,
of North America, www.twna.org Tom Kelley, Executive Director,
Western Automotive Journalists,
San Francisco - www.waj.org, Ron Harrison
Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Alvin Jones, President www.washautopress.org
March Road Ahead
Fallows' last bullet point doom forecast is typical shallow thinking
that was preceded by gloom and doom cranky old farts every time a
social norm became obsolete. When the poor learned how to read and
write, when slaves were freed, when gas lamps lit the streets and
houses, when the car became inconvenient to horse drawn buggy
owners, when electricity was brought to the masses, when tv was
invented, when the microwave started cooking food, when the internet
became easily available, and when cell phones revolutioned (sic)
person to person communication.
Now Fallow forecasts "an age of idiocy" and "our very ability to
think etc., etc." is doomed and "Media will fail to cover too much of
what really matters". In Bugs Bunny's phrase, "What a maroon"
Fallow, use your brain for more than blocking light from going
between your ears. If the content of any media source is what people
want, they will find it, they will enjoy it, they will cause it to
succeed beyond it's competition. If you build it (well) they will
come (to the one they like the most).
Anyone, or any news source, will be the best, or get the most
readers due to one thing... deliver what they want.
Rosen had a brilliant comment about objective journalism... my
compliments! Bravo! That is intuitive and astute!
You do a terrific job. This is my first comment ever, but I need to
echo the sentiment that the war between the traditional print media
and the blogs is way over...it’s not up to me to decide who is
worthy to cover an event, it is up to the manufacturer…all the blog
people I have been with are professional in their approach to
covering the beat, so I have no problem with them being on programs.
The bottom line is the content and the value to our audience. Our
audience is measured by subs….we have more than 600,000 and they are
better than "uniques". Our mission will be to continue to serve them
first and foremost. I welcome our blogger pals…I think they added a
much needed blast of fresh air."
Road & Track
Glenn—Interesting issue, good job!
Hi Glenn... great newsletter! Enjoyed the content...
Sheffer Enterprises, LLC
1608 Sandcroft Street
Westlake Village, CA 91361
I wouldn't say that Wheelbase Media's weekly auto pages "enliven"
anything. There's a reason they are often in the advertising
supplement. I guess they will never have to worry about their
content being "edited" because an advertiser complained.
I see their articles, or should I say advertising copy, in the Las
Vegas Review-Journal. Imagine if all articles in newspapers were
edited to reflect advertising needs, like the Detroit News did to
Scott Burgess. If I want auto advertising, I'll head on down to the
dealer for a pamphlet or click on an automaker's web site.
I am thankful that the Pacifica Tribune (Pacifica, CA) ran my
reviews month in and month out without alteration for just over 13
years before I moved. As a small town weekly struggling for survival
it would have been so easy for the publisher/editor to want puff
pieces to attract advertising but instead they ran what I wrote,
good or bad.
Accreditation and Anarchy
As a founding member and former board member of MPG, I can tell you
determining what is a journalist was hot button issue for me during
my service tenure. It was especially galling when one clown
sweet-talked his way into a hot Mustang and then promptly killed a
pedestrian with the test car.
I tried for years to get the membership rules strengthened to no
Russ makes a good point about too damn many "media" people at auto
shows. I simply quit going and focused on land speed racing.
At a recent meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists here
in St. Louis I again wrestled with "what is a journalist?" while
dissecting the Wikileaks situation with a local FBI Bureau Chief,
daily newspaper investigative editor and a hot shot 1st amendment
While by no means the end-all decision, we seemed to agree that
those whose work is verified, checked, considered and vetted by
someone other than the poster, more often than not is a legitimate
Frankly, from my time on the MPG membership committee, I believe
there were far too many people with "full journalist" status than
there should have been, but getting them reclassified always met
with a thud. Was it the almighty revenue from dues? Maybe.
Press Group Listing
It's time: change the IMPA listing to Mike Spinelli as president,
which was official as of the January meeting, even though his first
meeting was February.
Former Toyota PR Man Jim Fewel passed on this automotive anecdote
(you may want to pass on it too):
Apropos of nothing but California's ill-starred Salton Sea, a
locally owned business there actually made lead-acid electric-car
batteries, which were sold mostly for use in the now-rare but very
effective electric cars operated by some of the constabularies in
America of that era.
As you know, electric cars given a single complete charge can
generate amazing torque, for breakneck acceleration, which was
useful for quickly catching up with all kinds of miscreants,
The electric police cars were soon furloughed as gasoline engines
with their superior distance potential evolved, but the
flash-in-the-pan success of the electric pursuit vehicle is the
source of the familiar law-enforcement phrase, "arrested on the
charge of a Salton battery."
(Ed.'s plea: "Please no more like this.")
Webmaster Gary Grant has made an offer which AWcom hopes
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I would like to extend an offer to Autowriters.com readers that will
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Clients can choose from 35 template layouts with custom colors.
Never published with Wordpress? Not to worry, I'll walk you through
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You can see some of the other sites I've done recently here
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If $450 for a wordpress site and a $50 donation to Autowriters.com
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