december 2009 newsletter

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the road ahead

The push for pay walls guarding publishers’ content is gaining momentum world wide. Springer, publisher of Bild, Europe’s largest daily paper, joins Rupert Murdoch who promises to start charging to access his outlets around the globe. The $15 billon, 44% drop, in U.S, newspaper advertising over the first three quarters of 2009, as compared with the same period in 2006, has many large U.S. newspapers evaluating ways to charge for their digital offerings. (The trade Variety put up a pay wall this week). The Road Ahead: December 2009: Pay Walls are starting to go up to access news sites.

Photo By: Zsuzsanna Kiliani

Springer’s plan, as described by New York Times writer Eric Pfanner, would have publishers and internet companies working together to create a “one-click marketplace solution” where Google and other Internet gateways would display links to content as they do now, but some of the items would include something new, a price tag.” Conditioning consumers to an online newsstand could mean a return to glory for digital auto magazines and their writers. Those that sell, prosper, those that don’t won’t.

A hitch in that plan is the amount of “free” information available provided by Google or other aggregators. The Germans would expand copyright laws to include excerpts as well as complete articles. To charges that it is “stealing content” Google has responded with what writer Clint Boulton describes as “an olive branch to newspaper publishers” - letting them limit the number of articles readers can view for free on Google News to five per day.” As to its search engine and excerpts, Google notes that publishers are free to de-list from its search engine if they are willing to forgo their take from link traffic generated by Google searches, currently at 100,000 clicks per minute. And, the sales boost for their advertisers from articles consumers read.

A recent Opinion Research Survey reported by The Center for Media Research, reveals American consumers say articles that include brand information are the type of online advertising they're most likely to read and act upon, compared to banner ads, pop-up ads, email offers or sponsored links - more good news for auto writers. On the other hand, research as to the willingness of consumers to pay for content suggests they are not. Or, at best, they'll not pay very much unless it is information they cannot get elsewhere for free. This raises the question of the quality of the free information available and the appraisal of Springer’s public affairs officer, Christoph Keese, as quoted by Pfanner, “A highly industrialized world cannot survive on rumors. It needs quality journalism, and that costs money.”

Another approach to quality is journalists' crowd-sourcing. Advertising Age writer Simon Dumenco reports Mother Jones is now spearheading a potentially revolutionary cooperative reporting venture that will bring together, starting with a kick-off meeting this month, of a half a dozen or more journalistic organizations to examine climate change in depth. Google Labs is developing a “Living Story” format for journalists to collaboratively update a story on one URL. A concept that could be applied to auto writers although the most promising avenue is the marketers refrain that “engagement,” the ability to interact with and build consumer involvement is the essence of online communications, as exemplified by the explosive growth of social media. Or, as Seth Kaufman, director of media strategy for PepsiCo North America, is quoted by Karl Greenberg in Marketing Daily " the deer have guns; it's no longer about brands controlling the conversation. The old world of marketing was about badge value, and agency creative. Now it's about deep emotional connection."

Comments? Please go to:


the tom-tom

Autowriters.Com invites readers to submit their own Clog
(Online Column).  Your reward: a byline and an audience of your peers.  All submissions are acknowledged, queued and used at the editor’s discretion. 

 Terry Parkhurst is contributing editor/auctions for Collector Car Market Review. Additionally, he is a contributor to American Rider and Nissan Sport magazine. He has over 30 years writing about automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. His work has also appeared in AutoWeek, Sports Car Market and Old Cars Weekly. You can reach him directly at

Internet Scammers

Back when animated films were produced using what were called “cells” a character named Wimpy was a stable of the old “Popeye” cartoons. Wimpy was a big fan of hamburgers but never seemed to have much money. His ongoing mantra was, “I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.” Tom-Tom: Terry Parkhurst

Terry Parkhurst

That's similar to what a lot of automotive websites are offering these days: something for nothing, or at the most, a promise of something for something. Of course, to hear some of them tell it, by asking for something as tangible as money, an automotive journalist is being short-sighted.

Consider the response I received when I asked why only certain “select” contributors would get paid, from one well-known automotive website.

“While I can understand the frustration that someone is willing to provide for free, something that you have been paid for in the past, I don't appreciate the allegation,” he wrote in an e-mail, adding, “We never promised that we would ever want to hire you or anyone else or pay a penny."

“We have over 100 contributors out of which a dozen or so are paid contributors, who were brought on board despite not being promised anything, at anytime, until the point at which we decided to 'upgrade' our relationship. We are all working very hard to build a great company and would never compromise our values for the sake of making a buck.”

God forbid that values would be compromised by actually paying any or all contributors. Still, you'd think that a website that calls itself “The Web's auto authority” would be able to find the money.

Then too, there are companies such as Internet Brands, that have two tiers for auto writing. During this past summer, IB ran an ad on Craig's List looking for auto writers for two of its sites: and They offered the less than grand sum of four dollars for a short item of 150 to 250 words, and $10 for a “long article” of 400 to 600 words. Pay was a flat rate with no expenses.

I ran it by a friend of mine, a longtime veteran of Car and Driver magazine and he blew the whistle on them.

He told me that Internet Brands also owned and paid $600 for a full road test; and also paid $250 for a short introductory piece for that same site.

When I brought this up, to the human resources person listed as the contact, by e-mail and telephone, she never responded.

What I've taken to doing, is telling people who are offering rates that aren't worth the time that would be invested is, I live in one of the most expensive cities in America, don't live with my parents and have over 30 years writing about autos, trucks and motorcycles. It has helped in only one case; where the publisher bumped rates up: from $20 a piece to $50.

In what other occupation would someone be asked to do work for either no money, or at rates that don't even pay the rent? Of course, this used to go on with print journalism, too; but not to the extent it seems to, in regards to Internet sites. The result cheapens automotive journalism, too.

We get a collection of impoverished and exploited writers who are mere sycophants willing to write whatever platitudes it takes to keep a steady stream of press vehicles and invitations to ride-and-drives.

Somebody needs to tell some of these websites that even Wimpy had to come up with some money if he wanted to get what he felt he needed.

What do you think? To comment please go to:

 Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are volunteered and express the opinions of the writer.


autowriters spotlight

In a belated tip of the hat to the many fine professional auto writers in Canada this month's spotlight is on one of their own, Jil McIntosh, who sketches her own auto writing career.

“It’s hard for me to believe – gray hair aside – that I’ve been writing professionally about cars for 25 years. I’d churned out stories since I was a child, and during an early-1980s stint as a taxi driver in Toronto, I met a driver who collected antique cars. I had no interest in vehicles, but when I saw them, I wanted one. I bought a 1948 Chevrolet, and later, the two vehicles I still own, a 1947 Cadillac and 1949 Studebaker pickup truck. (And an antique tractor. Every woman wants an antique tractor.) Autowriters Spotlight:Jil McIntosh

Jil McIntosh

I had no formal journalism education, but I started writing for a couple of local publications, Canadian Street Rodder and Old Autos. Along the way, I queried to every car magazine I could find. It wasn’t easy to break in; one editor told me he didn’t publish women because they only wrote about shopping while their husbands were at car shows. I submitted a story anyway, and became their columnist for several years. If anything’s changed the most in 25 years, it’s that women are now taken seriously in this business.

When Canada’s largest daily paper, the Toronto Star, started its weekly Wheels section, I was determined to be part of it. They took my first piece in 1987 – the cover story! – about a hot rod show. I was a semi-regular contributor over the next ten years, until the old-car writer left and I took over his column. Shortly after, I asked why, if women made half of all new-car purchases, there weren’t any women reviewing cars. A week later, I was in a press car, notebook in hand.

Reviewers had specific segments, and mine was entry-level. I endured a lot of teasing from colleagues, asking when I was going to drive “real” cars. It wore thin, until one said, “Think of your readers. Someone spending $70,000 doesn’t care what you think. But someone who only has $18,000 is hanging on your every word.” I’ve never forgotten that.

I now cover all segments, but still like entry-level. These buyers aren’t always familiar with vehicles, so I include explanations for everything. I look for little things they might miss on test drives: seats that are tough to fold, or liftgates that open too high for shorter drivers. I also mentally “buy” each car, because readers do that literally. I dislike stories describing a $60,000 car as a “deal” – yes, it is, because you didn’t pay for it.

I’m a freelancer, so along with The Star, I’m assistant editor at, and a contributor to the industry magazine Tire News. I also write non-auto stuff, including columns on cocktails, fountain pen collecting, and years ago, a string of cheapie novels.

The auto scene is a little different up here – for one thing, we pick up our own press cars! Canadians also buy far more entry-level, more compacts, and more hatchbacks and wagons.

We have a national alliance, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), of which I’m a member. You must be a writer, photographer or broadcaster for at least a year before applying, and there’s a two-year probationary period. It must be your full-time job, and if your outlet is online, it must be editorial, regularly updated, and supported by advertising or subscriptions – blogs alone don’t count.

Each October, we hold “Testfest” to judge the Canadian Car of the Year Awards, in three days of back-to-back road testing in one location. You don’t have to be a reviewer to be an AJAC member, but only recognized reviewers can judge at Testfest. The awards are highly regarded, and automakers use them prominently in their advertising.

I do meet the odd writer who never met a car he didn’t like, because he never met a press trip he didn’t like, but overall, the level of professionalism in Canada is very high. I know my editors would fire me if I wasn’t honest, and I’d expect them to do that. Someone with five years of car payments is counting on me. I won’t let him down.”

Comments? Please go to:



In praise of the press fleet pros

by Josh Max

No matter how serious things got this year, they still kept us rolling through rain, snow, sleet and gridlock. There isn’t a boldface name in any newspaper or magazine or website for these sweaty (or shivering) heroes of the road. Their mothers neither hang their work on fridges nor email published links to friends and relatives.  A leisurely drive in a $60,000 sports car with their significant other on a lazy Sunday spring afternoon isn’t in their job description. The gig is to deliver and pick up the goods, and you can count on these guys like the sun rising and setting.

I’m talking about those unsung, coffee-soaked, iron-assed pros—the press fleet delivery people.

“Good morning, Mr. Max. Your vehicle is downstairs.”  How sweet the sound.

Josh Max gives thanks for press fleet delivery people.

Photo By: Ralph Morris

Alone after drop-off---unless a chaser car’s involved---they trudge off into the day or the night to the bus, subway or train.  Their reward is another car to be delivered to another journalist, who may or may not be in a good mood that day or may criticize a car’s maker or car color straight off instead of looking in the driver’s eye for the briefest of greetings and perhaps ask how the trip was.

In 10 years of auto journalism and 600-plus press cars delivered, I have never heard one wisecrack or sarcastic comment from any press fleet driver. These responsible, courteous men and women follow their directives and go home at the end of the day while we journalists head off into our world of make-believe and a free ride.

Sometimes they have to locate a journalist whose car was scheduled to be returned but who has disappeared with the keys for a few hours.  Sometimes they find dents or scratches or worse.  EZ-passes, portable nav systems, sunglasses, cameras, Blackberries and even a deer carcass are found and must be returned. There is frequently peanut butter on the steering wheel and sand in the floor mats and straw wrappers in the center console.

They just keep right on doing their job.

We’ve all had a challenging year, but I think it’s time for a round of claps. Not while you’re driving, though. Try the below instead: The next time you’re easing back into the driver’s seat, nav system programmed to some sweet destination, the tunes of your choice wafting through the cockpit and the cares and troubles of office media work fading behind you---consider thanking a dispatcher and driver.

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road signs

Newspaper autowriters have long walked the line between news and advertising, striving for journalistic credibility while avoiding affronts to their publisher’s auto advertisers. The credibility part has become more difficult at the Dallas Morning News after editor Bob Mong and Sr. Vice President of Sales, Cindy Carr, announced, “To better align with our clients' needs, we will be organized around eleven business and content segments with similar marketing and consumer profiles including: sports, health/education, entertainment, travel/luxury, automotive, real estate, communications, preprints/grocery, recruitment, retail/finance, and SMB/Interactive.”

Tearing down of the wall between news and advertising brought a storm of Internet reactions ranging from “Another Death In Dallas” by acanuck on DagBlog to “cautious optimism” by “Newsosaur” blogger Alan Mutter, as reported by Terry Box, who has covered autos and the industry at the paper for 15 years reports that so far nothing has changed for him. “I will continue to report to my editor in Business News, Laura Jacobus, and the editor of the department, Dennis Fulton. The general managers will be over advertising people and have considerable lateral power as I understand it. Jim Moroney, our publisher, sent out a clarification of sorts late last week that said editors will continue to have final authority over all news — which is all fine and good. But you have to wonder why they set the system up in the first place.” Mong said the move is, “the next step toward becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to generate important, relevant content.”

After 108 years, Editor and Publisher is being shut down by its publisher, The Nielsen Company. The company sold eight other titles in order to “focus on businesses with the highest potential for growth”, according to a story in The Huffington Post. . . .Wooden Horse News reports USA Today, which now trails The Wall Street Journal in circulation, plans to cut 5% of its newsroom staff and 11 people from the USA Weekend staff. Also, that ESPN plans to open local websites in 20 or more cities, starting in Los Angeles.  The newsletter also quotes former Business Week executive editor John Bryne on why he started his new company C-Change Media: "I passionately believe that the future of media is digital and that newcomers have tremendous advantages over incumbents."

As tough as the past three years have been for traditional media, the next three are going to be nothing less than brutal: more closures, greater losses, increasing layoffs of highly talented journalists and editors. "AOL plans to axe 2500 employees and use robot news gatherers (an algorithmic system that trawls the internet) to find stories its visitors will most prefer." This, according to FastCompany, as reported by Gavin O’Malley on Media Post. He continues to quote, “It'll then advise the humans in the loop which stories are likely to do well, and when to run them--particularly pieces like seasonal or sporting-interest ones." O’Malley says the system will, “parse out article assignments among a large freelance staff, screen submitted pieces for grammar and spelling and calculate the freelancer’s pay.  . . . O’Malley  also reports in another piece that Twitter Japan has introduced a tiered payment model that will charge audiences to view tweets from premium Twitter accounts.  

The New York Times' twice weekly Chicago edition is underway  staffed by many former Chicago Tribune journalists supplementing Times material with Windy City news. . . .  The new Detroit Daily Press called a halt after a week’s production but plans to re-start in 2010 after resolving problems in sales, advertising and distribution, according to . . Automotive News has renamed its daily newscast Automotive News TV.

Journalism professor Bret Schulte, writing in the American Journalism Review:  “All this focus on Facebook friends and Twitter followers and sowing stories and links across the Web is dramatically altering a side of the business that the newsroom never much thought about: distribution. What was once the province of doorsteps and homepages is now about the hustle of networking, the savvy application of technology and the dark art of promotion and marketing. And, increasingly, it's everyone's job. The imperative for newsrooms to push stories far and wide is redefining the work of reporters and editors and prompting even more questions about the future of audiences, news brands and that standard-bearer of online journalism: the good old homepage."

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pit notes

Girls Go Racing: Driving to Esteems by Dani Ben-Ari and Susan FrissellGirls Go Racing: Driving To Esteems is a new book by Dani Ben-Ari and Susan Frissell.  The long time auto writers detail the benefits of auto racing, what it takes for interested young girls to get involved, how racing can become a viable career option, and how the involvement in motorsports builds much needed self esteem. Published by Authorhouse (September 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4490-0738-6, $12.95), the book is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher at, and on

Burt Levy touts a number of Holiday gifts available at his last web site–including a chance to be in his newest book. . . .  In recognition of his many outstanding contributions to the organization during his tenure as President, the Texas Auto Writers Association has honored Harold Gunn by renaming its scholarship fund the Harold Gunn Scholarship For Journalism. The scholarship is for students in a Texas university who are in their junior year and are pursuing a Bachelors Degree in journalism . . .Gary Witzenberg accepted the open invitation to attend Bill Maloney’s First Tuesday Car Lunch Bunch at Hawaii’s Waikiki Yacht Club and talked about the GM EV-1 which he was involved with in engineering and PR capacities. It was noted that he was driving a Prius loaned by Servco Toyota.

2009 Indycar Series champion Dario Franchitti will keynote a panel on Indy car racing at the 3rd annual Wheels of Wellness vintage race car showcase in Phoenix on Jan. 17, 2010. The event, to benefit the non-profit Wellness Community's free cancer support and education programs, kicks off Arizona Auction week with an astonishing display of rare and seldom-seen vintage race cars and has become a much-anticipated gathering of racing luminaries and car aficionados.

Media members who want to attend Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s invitation-only talk at the Chicago Economic Club’s annual Chicago Auto Show luncheon, Feb.11, should visit . . . . Speaking of the Nation’s largest auto show, that is where the Internet Car and Truck of The Year will be unveiled during media days, Dec. 10 and 11 by the originator of the juried awards, journalist Keith Griffin. He’ll also announce the winner of the Internet Automotive Journalist of The Year contest.

Using its nine “social milieus” analysis of the U.S. car market, Auto Pacific predicts shifting buyers to smaller cars as the government would like, is going to be a hard sell. Those most likely to downsize their next car are those in the increasingly less numerous “Affluent Progressive Milieu” The market research firm also reports that price outweighs “green” in new car purchase decisions.. . . And, it is well down the list of popular car colors as reported by DuPont that silver is tops and green is eighth. Still, a new “green car” racing circuit has been launched in Europe by London-based  EEVRC Ltd. The idea is to help the car makers change the image of electric vehicles, from being local runabouts to high-performance, highly-desirable cars. As to which cars are most desirable, Michael Karesh welcomes suggestions for more features in his monthly True Delta compilation of on-going car owner reports on their car’s reliability, mileage and other factors. Reach him at:

The Vintage Vehicle Show seen on 79 U.S. TV stations has added outlets in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and a number of former Russian Republics to its overseas telecasts. Lance Lambert, the show’s president and producer said at least 15 new episodes will be taped in 2010.

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new roads

Quench Media announced the launch of, a new portal for complete news and information on recreational towing. Editor and publisher Brett Becker launched the new site because, he says, “there was a need for a Web site, with high production values, that provided information and advice on how to do things safely in towing and trailering. He adds that he has poured all the knowledge gained from his years of experience in towing and trailering into the site with the goal of helping others, “pull it right and get there in one piece.”

A group of 'Green Enthusiasts' has launched a green portal to increase awareness of environmental issues that affect the future of the planet. is updated 24/7 with green news, events, technologies, videos, web resources and success stories in the field of energy conservation, sustainability and environmental protection. . . . Online Media reports that Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and Time, Inc. are working on a “new digital storefront.”  It would keep Apple or other platform providers from controlling digital distribution. Apple is ready to introduce its competitor to the Kindle reader this spring.

Kevin Clemens sent us a news release about a new automotive and transportation book review site, but we misplaced the release. So here is a description from the site: “ was created to provide readers with reviews of automotive and transportation books and other media such as videos and DVDs. The books we review include: Automobiles, Motorcycles, Trucks, Boats and Ships, Trains, Buses, Airplanes and Aviation, as well as racing, rally, and adventure stories that have to do with planes, trains, ships and automobiles. Although we primarily review new or recent books, you will also find many classic and out-of-print books in our reviews because we like them! Many of the books we review are produced by small and specialty publishers and we put a priority on such presses. We also accept self-published books- as long as they have an ISBN. The reviews are property of the reviewer, but may be excerpted or copied completely, as long as credit is given to the reviewer and to”

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lane changes

Contrary to our previous listing, Michael Cotsworth is the current president of of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press group (RMAP) . . . The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is moving its collection from a convention center in metro Detroit to the Detroit Science Center, near the city's downtown. The science center will house the hall of fame's collection of racing cars and memorabilia.

Long time Booth Newspapers Michigan representative Richard Haglund has taken early retirement with plans to stay active in journalism. Feel free to contact him at . . .Barry Toepke’s new post is: Vice President, Historic Races, Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca. He's responsible for overseeing all aspects of sales, marketing, operations and the execution of the vision for historics. He can be reached at 310-990-6295 or 831-242-8291 or emailed: . . . Charlie Vogelheim has moved from J.D. Power and Associates to executive vice president of

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across the finish line

Jan-Willem Vester, former Saab PR staffer.

Comments? Please go to:


- 30-


Glenn F. Campbell

table of contents



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Dean Batchelor Award
("to the journalist judged to have produced the single piece of work which best represents the professional standards and excellence epitomized by the career and life of the late Dean Batchelor”)

NFL Films
Truth In 24, Audi at the 2008 24 Hours of LeMans"
Keith Cossrow and Bennet Viseltear, producers

MPG’S Best of The Year

 Preston Lerner
, The Joy of  Slow, Automobile Magazine

Carlos Eduardo Jalife-Villalon
, The Brothers Rodriguez, David Bull Publishing

 Allison (Al) Merion, Drifting,




2010 Best Redesigned Vehicle
Ford Taurus


Truck of The Year
Ram Heavy Duty Pickup

Car of The Year
Ford Fusion


Most Environmentally Progressive Car of The Year
Ford Fusion

Most Environmentally Progressive Truck of The Year
 2010 Audi Q7 TDI

International Car of The Year
Ford Taurus

International Truck of The Year
Volvo XC60


 Sue Mead, Driving the King of Trucks Bumper to Bumper

Jeff Yip
, The Best The Cheapest, The Newest Technology
And What To Expect In The Future
, Consumers Digest

Harold Gunn
& Mike Herzing,
The Automotive Reporter

Internet Article
Sue Mead
, Mongolian Adventure With Land Rover, Road and Travel Magazine

Michael Herzing
and Lynn David Cole,

Photo Published in Print
John R. Fulton, Jr.
, Haul It, Scouting Magazine

Photos Published On Internet
Michael Herzing
, Night Skyline,


Buffalo, NY. Pierce-Arrow Museum, First Inductee Class
Lauren Fix
Emily Anderson
Donna Luh,
Mary Marino
Margueritte Hambleton


Marketer of The Year



December 2009
14 MAMA Holiday Social, Champs, Lombard, IL
15 Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Breakfast Seminar, 2010 Forecast, Ann Arbor Marriott, MI
16 APA NACTOY Luncheon, Detroit, MI
16 WAPA, Luncheon, National Press Club, Alternative Energy
17 IMPA, Luncheon
17 SAMA, Annual Holiday Party, TBD
January 2010
1 Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, "America's Most Beautiful Roadsters" Exhibit
11-13 NAIAS Press Review, Detroit, MI
12-14 Automotive News World Congress, Detroit, MI
12 On Wheels, Urban 2010 Car, Truck and Green Vehicles of the Year, Sound Board Theater, Motor City Hotel and Casino, Detroit, MI
13 NEMPA Dinner, P.J. O'Rourke, Boston, MA
14 AutoWeek Design Forum, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI
15 Detroit Economic Club, Automotive Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, Detroit, MI
17 3rd Annual Wheels of Wellness Vintage Race Car Showcase, The Wellness Community, Phoenix, AZ
February 2010
11 Chicago Economic Club's Chicago Auto Show Luncheon Meeting, (Media must pre-register), Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne
26 WAPA, Washington Auto Show Press Kickoff, Ford CEO, Alan Mulally
27 Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA, "Fantasies in Fiberglass"


motoring press organizations

The 15 regional automotive press associations provide information and background not easily found elsewhere.
  If they are too distant to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.


Automotive Press Association, Detroit - Katie Kerwin


International Motor Press Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President -,


Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association


Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago -


Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -


New England Motor Press Association, Boston -


Northwest Automotive Press Association, Bellevue, WA-


Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-


Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver, Mike Cotsworthy, President,


Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Ron Beasley, President,


Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC


Texas Auto Writers Association, Mike Herzing,


Truck Writers of North America, Tom Kelley, Executive Director,


Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco -, Ron Harrison


Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Rick Trawick,

talk back

The following are some comments that were posted on the blog and sent directly to us:

Re: High Gear Media

Though many internet sites do not yet have much of a budget to hire professional writers,  some do and it's worthwhile to search those publications out instead of giving away your talent for free to those online publications who don't value your talent enough to pay for them. 

It's the old saying "why buy the milk if the cow is free"  scenario in automotive journalism these days.  It may be tempting to give your articles free to internet publications  (looking for "publicity" ) but as long as they can get them for free they will never pay.  There are some publication that do pay for articles and those are the ones we should be seeking as a place to send work.

High Gear Media calls itself “ . . . a next generation media company that publishes more automotive content than anyone in the world through websites targeting key buyer and vehicle segments . . .”

Having gone to the trouble of reading through the rules of their “writing contest” and visiting several of their websites, I believe I can clearly describe their business model: Prostitution.

High Gear’s use of the term “open content platform” is a loosely disguised way of saying, “You write for free.”

I’d call it what it is: Journalistic slavery.

They have no respect for editorial and they have no respect for writers, automotive or otherwise.

But, hey, they give you a byline . . . and that must be worth something.

Not to me it isn’t.  And I hope it isn’t to anyone else with professional writing credentials.

I, for one, will never visit any of their websites again.  In this arena the eyeballs have it. And without “eyes” High Gear will quickly meet its demise.

I would also hope that any legitimate advertiser would see through this scam for what it is and not advertise on any High Gear site.  Let your ad dollars do the talking . . . and the walking.

I am also disappointed that an organization such as Tesla would have allowed itself to be sucked into participating in this “writing contest sham.”  Did anyone at Tesla read the rules?

The best thing that could happen would be for no one to submit anything to High Gear.  Those non words will get your message across loud and clear. And leave High Gear idling in neutral with a real mess on their hands.

John Dinkel

High Gear Media Win a Tesla test?  What planet are we on?  Oh, I get it send in your boxtops and you too can be a journalist.

Kate McLeod

Re: November Road Ahead

As an automotive technical writer, I see so much misinformation, disinformation and nonsense on the internet it makes me wonder how anybody gets accurate information. 

The problem with mob-sourced media is that the blind are often leading the blind.  And those who shout the loudest and longest garner most of the attention whether they are right or wrong.

If a website is going to provide accurate information or informative reviews, you need informed writers and editors creating the copy. 

As for allowing reader comments following an article or dialogue, I think it distracts from the content unless the article is controversial or is open to opinion.  Many follow-up comments are off the subject, are posted to  promote a product or another website, or are of minimal value in my opinion.  Consequently, you waste a lot of time deleting junk comments and responding to silly questions that don't really deserve a response.

Larry Carley

And a Holiday Greeting from Bill Maloney: this link to a great collection of U.S. car brochures:


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Glenn Campbell, Publisher       Lysa McCarroll, Managing Editor

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