TTAC Open Forum: Let's Talk About the Elephant in the Room (and Everything Else)
On average, TTAC runs 12 stories a day consisting of features, reviews and news. On average, virtually none of those are about TTAC.
Let’s change that.
It’s not goodbye
As most of our loyal readers have noticed, Cameron has left the news position. However, this is not the end of Cameron’s tenure at TTAC.
In her heartfelt letter to our readers yesterday, Cameron outlined the main stumbling block with having her take the reins in the news editor position: her lack of a driver’s license.
“But, how does a driver’s license have anything to do with news?” you may ask. It’s simple, really. The news editor is now also responsible for reviews and we may send that person on a trip here and there. Being able to drive is essential to the new role.
Cameron will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later, as she details getting her license as an adult. After this, hopefully she will become a regular fixture at TTAC once again, but that’s more so in her hands than mine.
If there’s one thing I can say about Cameron, though, it’s that she is probably the hardest working writer … scratch that … hardest working person I’ve ever met. Period. I’ve never seen anyone churn out the sheer volume of copy she does while still keeping the quality of said copy as high as virtually everyone else who writes for TTAC.
And truth be told, I completely stopped editing her pieces after a while. Instead, I would just enjoy them like you all did – as news and a break from the daily grind of work.
Say hello to
newsbot v2.43.1 Aaron Cole
Denver, Colorado resident Aaron Cole will be taking the reins of the freshly assembled Ikea news desk.
Aaron brings with him 12 years of journalism experience with 5 of those in the automotive world. His responsibilities will include news, op-eds and reviews. He will also help me not make a fool out of myself by editing my pieces before the B&B rip them apart. While I’m on the road, Aaron will act as managing editor.
Please say hello to Aaron. I promise he’s not a robot.
TTAC is growing and we need to keep it that way
Things are looking up for TTAC. Over the last month or so, TTAC readership has increased. If TTAC were an automaker, we would publish a release today about all the gains, breaking it down by article type and opening up our production numbers for interpretation. Instead, I will tell you one very simple, small bit of information that will explain the decisions made above.
Regurgitated news is dead.
TTAC and others crank out copy based on press releases from automakers and other companies involved in the industry. The majority of us automotive journalists start our careers this way as stringers. We do it cheaply too, so as to get a byline and point to it as proof of prior work. Think of it as a character-building exercise.
Unfortunately, it’s this content that also rarely resonates with readers. Only one out of 20 or 30 news pieces garners the same attention as an average feature piece. As a response to that, TTAC will be digging deeper going forward.
Our goal will be to provide a perspective in every story that isn’t offered anywhere else. Unless it’s a breaking news item of significant importance or a piece of information that would be dangerous if omitted, we won’t cover it unless there’s a story to be told. The days of simply copying information from a press release or deriving a story from another article solely so we have another headline will eventually come to an end. They will be replaced by long(er)-form news features.
Obviously, this isn’t a change that’s going to happen overnight. Sit tight, relax, and continue to enjoy the TTAC you know tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.
Now it’s your turn
The mic is now all yours. Please feel free to sound off in the comments. Aaron and I will attempt to reply to each and every one. Also, don’t limit yourselves to the topics above. Everything is on the table today.
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