The Ethics Of Auto Journalism In Action
Since it began, TTAC has called on all automotive publication to publish disclosure of all manufacturer-provided travel, lodging, food and gifts. The worst offenders: car sections of local newspapers. And no wonder; they remain one of the few profitable portions of many otherwise failing publications. To wit: Joe Clark's [ Fawny Blog] take on the Toronto Star's Wheels section. Calling Wheels "a giant moneymaker" for the paper, Clark links to an editorial where the paper agrees that "accepting free travel to preview cars is not ethically or journalistically sound." So no car junkets, right? Wrong. The Star simply hires freelancers and "outsources unethical behaviour." A quote from freelancer Ted Laturnus in an article in the Ryerson Review Of Journalism says it all. "All I can say to the people who think we shouldn't be taking free trips is, 'Go fuck yourself. Come back to me when you've grown up.' They don't know the side of reality to this business. I do. I've been in it for 20 years. I have no patience for that sorta thing. It's the way the game is played." Note to Ted: we're here to change the rules.