Book Review: Sixty To Zero
Ronnie Schreiber on Aug 18, 2010
As a novice writer I've learned access is important, whether it's access to engineers and executives or access to test vehicles. Without access you're just another guy with an opinion about cars. Farago pissed off a lot of people. It helped build TTAC's brand and credibility with readers, but it impaired TTAC's access with the car companies. Remember the Lutz press event for automotive bloggers where GM's communications guy didn't even want to let Robert in the room? Hell, when I get credentialed to the Detroit show I usually get them issued for another site that I write for. If I say that I write for TTAC, I'll get a smirk and have to end up describing myself as the site's "unofficial Detroit defender". There's a saying that family therapists use, "Is this the hill you want to die fighting for?" You want to get the truth, and ask sincere, probing questions. At the same time, if you get known for negativity, you're not going to get many interview opportunities. So you try to balance fair criticism with sucking up. My approach is to not be openly confrontational, and to work hard at coming up with questions that the interviewee hasn't heard a million times. I've found that a unique question isn't usually answered with a sound bite. If that unique question is thoughtful, that goes a long way towards establishing credibility.
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