Tag: Journalism

By on May 31, 2019

Recently, august buff book publication Car and Driver published a piece of content dubbed “How to Pack Like an Automotive Journalist.”

The piece doesn’t appear to be sponsored content – it reads as if C/D polled staffers for recommendations, and followed it up with revenue-generating links for readers to click if they want to buy said items.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2019

Image: GM

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.”

— Dr. Suess, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

2019 Chevrolet Blazers are available for purchase at dealership near you. No, really, they are. Like, right this second. You could buy one. Some people already have. This is interesting because it’s pretty much impossible to find a review of one anywhere on the internet. A search for “Chevrolet Blazer Reviews” brings you to some news of the initial auto show reveal, and that’s about it.

To you, the TTAC reader and automotive enthusiast, this news probably doesn’t rock you to your core. But there’s a group of people that are wringing their hands nervously about this product launch.

The journosaurs.

(Read More…)

By on May 24, 2018

elon musk

A good morning to each and every one of you. We know you’re eagerly looking forward to your Memorial Day long weekend, but there’s trouble brewing in this bucolic paradise. You see, oil and gas companies exist, and that’s bad. Also, there are car companies that manufacture products that ordinary citizens can buy, and they’re also allowed to — get this — advertise what they sell. Distasteful, we know.

What’s worse, lurking among the citizenry (most of whom are true of heart and noble in intention), is a subversive threat that can no longer be tolerated. They call themselves “journalists” — bored, bourgeois types, to be sure, but possessed with the notion that what they scribble about cars isn’t fully and completely tainted by the fact that car and oil companies can advertise. Bloated and decadent from the checks rolling in from ExxonMobil and General Motors, they profess to speak the truth.

We know this isn’t the case. Come with us, comrade, as we discuss a solution. (Read More…)

By on January 12, 2018

2018 Nissan Leaf

The 2018 North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit Auto Show, is upon us, and at least one of the new vehicles shown will be electrified. But not necessarily electric.

Yet, journalists, both those who cover the industry and especially those who normally work other beats (such as business or news), will continue to incorrectly conflate the two. Which in turn will give this editor even more gray hairs.

(Read More…)

By on June 23, 2017

A Frat Bro in Cadillac Country

“Pshhh, it’s not that fast. Your car is faster,” the young man wearing the Alpha Gamma Delta shirt said to his blonde companion. We were in the parking lot of a stadium in Orange County, under the shade of a white tent with a Cadillac logo, beside a sign reading: “ACCELERATION.” It was unclear which Cadillac he was disparaging, as both the ATS-V and CTS-V were available for full-throttle rips. He may have been trying to goad his girlfriend into driving, but the trash talk indicated this was no press junket.

Welcome to the Southern California edition of Cadillac’s Truth + Dare summer tour across America.

Two weeks earlier, I was wondering how the hell I was targeted on Twitter by a Cadillac ad with an invitation to a ride-and-drive event. For financial reasons, “automotive journalist” doesn’t fit the profile of a typical Cadillac customer. My BMW Z3 recently celebrated its 20th birthday. But they weren’t asking for my tax returns and I’m fascinated by the Cadillac brand, so this seemed like an opportunity to see how they present themselves to the public. All I had to do was drive from Los Angeles to Anaheim on a Friday at 2:00 p.m. (Read More…)

By on August 22, 2016

2017 Mirage G4, Image: Mitsubishi

A funny thing has happened on Canada’s Atlantic Coast — and maybe in Canada as a whole.

You see, we have a fairly small automotive press corps on Canada’s eastern coast (and I say we because I just moved from Atlantic Canada). As such, we have an equally small press fleet.

Each week, a very nice man moves all the press cars around for us journalists as if we’re important in some way. This very nice man probably logs somewhere near 500 kilometers each week moving cars around for us. It’s a ton of driving — specifically, a ton of driving that Tim and I and other journalists don’t need to do, making this a pretty sweet deal for us. We sit on our respective buttocks (buttockses?) and the very nice man shows up at our home with a brand new car. In return, we do basically nothing and give the very nice man the keys to the previous car, which we are thoroughly bored of by that time anyway.

However, when the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 came to our fleet, it stopped neither at Tim’s house nor mine.

(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2016

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

“How do you get a job like that?”

Since June 13th, 2012, I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count. That was the day that my first post appeared on TTAC. Between then and now, I’ve been fortunate enough to be published on several sites around the internet and in print. As a result, I can’t sit next to somebody on a plane or work a corner at an autocross with a group of Tilley-wearers without being asked some variation of that same question.

I typically respond in the same way. “Start writing.” You can’t be a writer without writing — seems simple enough, but that’s where most people get stuck. Never fear. Your Uncle Bark is here to help you get started. If you want to get free flights to Tenerife, I can’t help you. But if you want to share your love of cars with the world, keep reading.

 

(Read More…)

By on June 30, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 6.58.43 PM

Here at TTAC, it’s been a tradition of sorts to call out poor examples of car reviews. In fact, we’ve done it so often over the years that I wondered if doing it again would be overkill. There’s such a multitude of miserably bad car reviewers on the minor car blogs of the Internet that it hardly seemed worth pointing out yet another case.

Well, I did wonder that. Then I read some reviews by Tim Esterdahl of Car Revs Daily. I wondered no longer.

(Read More…)

By on May 7, 2015

2015 Honda Civic Concept

[UPDATE: Autoblog owned up to its mistake with the following:Alright, we made a mistake. Turns out this “leak” was actually just a mockup done by a CivicX forum member, and we totally went along with it. Sorry, folks. You’ll have to wait a little longer for your hot Civic pricing news.” – CA]

Earlier this morning, Autoblog published a leak regarding the pricing of the 2016 Honda Civic. In its rush to be first, however, it forgot to confirm.

(Read More…)

By on September 13, 2013

neontow

Dear fellow Chrysler/Plymouth/Imperial/Dodge/DeSoto fans,

It appears that some of you are not happy with our man Derek’s review of the new Jeep Cherokee. I can understand that; like many of you, I wanted the Cherokee to be a solid if not superior product. Today, however, I saw that Allpar.com’s administrator has called for Chrysler to blacklist TTAC from future press vehicles. I thought I’d take a moment to discuss with you why an attitude like this is bad news for everyone, including the Mopar Nation or whatever the long-suffering group of Chrysler loyalists is being called at the moment.

(Read More…)

By on May 6, 2013

Night coming tenderly, and you know the rest. Picture courtesy LifeChoice.

When the Detroit News decided to make a click-tastic slideshow of The 50 Most Beautiful WAGS In Sports, the blogosphere responded with some WAGging of its own — mostly of tongues. Nearly everybody agreed that there was something deeply saddening and pathetic about the fact that a semi-respected Old News bastion is now using Google Image Search and one-click-per-picture tactics to puff up the numbers. Some of the strongest criticism, however, came from a most unlikely source.

(Read More…)

By on October 31, 2011

You know, it’s getting goddamned hard for a chap to enjoy a decent corporate-sponsored nosebag from time to time what with the ever-imminent prospect of Jack “Banquo” Baruth popping out from behind a silver soup tureen and shouting “J’accuse!” like some sort of admonitory, jort-clad Visigoth. At least, such I was thinking to myself as I lined the walls of my pericardium with the rich yellow fat best produced by overly-sauced food and moderately crappy wines.

This was in the latter stages of a lunch – sorry – launch I was attending in, admittedly, a very unprofessional capacity. I’m still not entirely sure how I ended up here, but I’m one of those people who can’t say no when offered work; here though there would be no byline, and theoretically therefore, no conflict of interest.

Still, I was keeping one eye open, metaphorically-speaking, for our own favourite Sword of Damocles, as – pardon me good sir, but I believe your trotter is in my trough!

Lifer Automotive Journalist the Size of a Small Moon: “Oh, do beg pardon. Snarfle-snarfle-glub.”

(Read More…)

By on June 27, 2010

It may not be apparent from the cheerful, distracted way in which I load my TTAC contributions with ridiculous jargon, shocking sexual audacity, and repulsive images of the ghetto, but writing an online auto review is actually a rather tightly woven proposition. One has about a thousand words, give or take a few, in which to convey the essence of a vehicle which has cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop. There is usually so much data in the press materials that a simple Cliffs Notes version of that data would run to double the permitted review length.

That’s not all. Everybody has access to those materials, so one must be careful to save some room with which to convey accurate, personalized driving impressions. Speaking frankly, there are only three differences between the average denim journOrca (just made that up) and your humble author: I can drive a vehicle beyond four-tenths, I fit in most bucket seats, and I rarely sleep alone at press events. Therefore, in a thousand-word review, I have to set aside a few hundred words to be honest about how the car drives.

You get the point. There’s not a lot of room in the “trunk” of a review. This doesn’t stop most of us in the business from putting junk in that trunk. The “junk” in question consists of vague, uneducated ranting on automotive styling. Click the jump to hear some examples and discuss what should be done.

(Read More…)

By on December 8, 2009

It ain't easy being sleazy... (courtesy:thetradeshowsblog.com)
The following is a piece called “What We Wear” by Alex Law, reprinted from the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada’s November 27 “Mini Newsletter.”
(Read More…)

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