Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
N

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
... do the really know anything about cars or do they just make stuff up?
(Kind of like a tabloid journalists, but with less drugs/sex stories or hounding people
to death.)



:confused::rolleyes::confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,786 Posts
In general journalists do words, not mechanicals. A very few notable exceptions, but most go for the free drinks and publicity handouts.

The Daily Mail once had a motoring editor who recommended putting lighter seats in a car, saving a few kilos, because it would do better mpg. He just printed the publicity handouts.

Look at Clarkson with tools in his hands.
 
K

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I only read Practical Performance Car where they actually get their hands dirty.

I don't give a **** how the Lapsong Shooshong handles near the limit or whether the GT3 RS Cup lightweight twatster has a front end lift problem and I don't want to read technical stuff by people who don't understand it and are copying direct from Ford's latest brochure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
its a shame they all seem biased aswell mmmm .... eg its german its well built??? its japanese it will last for ever?? its italian it looks good and might work?? bla bla bla i reckon they just change a few words each time lol
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
i was trawling facebook tonight and someone made a statement that Clarkson was a motoring journo.....

No, he's a journo.....he has no mechanical knowledge......

But then the problem is how many mechanics could write an article on a car or present a TV programme
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,888 Posts
I doubt that Clarkson is as clueless as he lets on.

but there's more to being a motoring journo than knowing how the mechanics work. There are many facets of automobile journalism; it doesn't start and end at the mechanics. The guys that writes for Fleet Car News for instance, might not need to have an intricate knowledge of the oily bits; his concern for his readers is lease terms, service schedules, resale values etc etc etc, because that what his readers care about.

The guy that writes for What Car? knows his readers aren't interested in cars at all, and they couldn't give two hoots for an in-depth technical analysis; he knows they're in the market for a new car, and all they really care for is how big the boot is, the MPG, what the visibility is like and if the kids will fit in it. And once they've bought the car, it'll be three years before they buy another issue of What Car? to see which car to buy next.

As for copying material direct from the press release, well that's the purpose of a press release; if it says the car's a 2000cc, 4 cylinder aimed at the family owner, then what do you think the journo's meant to write? Most will strip out the puff in press releases (you should see some of Alfa's; unbelievable!)

Even if they don't all know cars inside out, they know their readers; and that's why we have publications as diverse as EVO, Practical Classics, AutoExpress, Octane, Automotive Engineer and so on, all of which require differing levels of technical knowledge according to the market they target.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
i think many are guilty of laziness. rather than performing their own in depth analysis, they see what every one else writes and produces copy along the same lines.

how many articles say the same car is crap when it turns out o.k?

also advertisments are a vital source of income so you don't want to bite the hand that feeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,888 Posts
a magazine's duty is to its readers, not its advertisers.

That's why the BMW X5M and X6M have been panned. It's why they all hate the ride provided by the run flat tyres. It's why they were deeply critical of the how Mercedes sunk to new lows in the 1990s, it's why they always berate the ride of modern Audis, it's why the say the new Polo is worthy but dull, it's why they laugh at the styling of that new Porsche. I've singled these cars out because their manufacturers are all prolific advertisers in the key magazines.

There's something else to bear in mind. If you want to buy an Astra (for example), you might test drive that, a Focus and a Golf for comparison. The mag would have driven all of them plus the Bravo, plus the Megane, plus the B-Class, plus the Audi A3, plus the Kia C'eed, plus the Hyundai Lanzarote, plus the Alfa 147, plus the Citroen C3, plus the Peugeot 308 and so on; that's their job - they have the time to do all of that, while Joe Blow rarely does. And they'll drive it for longer than 20 mins around the block.

I'm not saying they're perfect, but there is more to what they do than just jollies they attend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,451 Posts
....and then there's Autocar, who, in this week, the so-called used car guru states the Fiat Barchetta is RWD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,888 Posts
like i said, they're not perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
I know its not a motoring journalist i'm on about here but there used to be a guy who wrote for the Daily Star called Matt Darcy ( i think) and he used to cover the liverpool games.
If you had read the previous nights Liverpool Echo you knew more or less word for word what would be in his report the following day!
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Haven't bought a car mag for years now. If I want to find out about a car I get on the googles and spend a couple of hours getting as much info and opinion as I can. Some of it is from journos, some of it from owners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,888 Posts
Haven't bought a car mag for years now. If I want to find out about a car I get on the googles and spend a couple of hours getting as much info and opinion as I can. Some of it is from journos, some of it from owners.
and that's a good move :thumbs: It's also the experience those other owners have had of the car that matters as much as their opinion of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
I think the definition of a motoring journalist has changed somewhat over the generations, rather like motoring tv programmes like Top Gear.

Cars were once a luxury, rich mans product which only mushroomed in popularity after the Second World War, people had more disposable income, & there was an air of a "new world" (much the same as in the US in the 50's), which people grasped. People wanted cars for their families & they wanted to know about would their car take the family down to the coast for a day out at the beach, and would it get Mr-Man-Of-The-Household off to work to earn the money (as the traditional values of the day). Also, people, mostly men, were very engineer minded (as we were once a great British engineering country) or enthusiasts & lots of technical data fulfilled their need to know information about cars - like us lot, how many of us could reel off technical data about our cars or their engines?

Fast forward to the 21st century, & most people nowadays, including kids, are clued up on the basics of cars, & just really want to know how fast it goes, how many people can it take, how safe it is, how economical & eco-friendly it is. Lots of people seem to know new cars come off the same production lines as each other (platform sharing) but are in a different body shape & different badges. These are numbers, but they're not technical.

Based upon the opinion above, motoring journalists are there nowadays to give opinions, not data. Clarkson is an interesting case in point. He can tell you everything you need to know about any car, but really only gives opinions based upon the very simple fact that he has access to cars very few other people will drive in their lifetime, but he is also an entertainer, put on tv to show off to viewers. Top Gear itself used to be a factual technical data-based motoring tv programme, but is now more of an entertainment show.

It keeps the punters happy, and keeps the economic cycle going
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
it's horses for courses really isn't it. I find motoring mags like CAR fascinating to read. Often about cars that i could never afford but being a bloke 'need to know how they handle what they ride like and how good they look going through a desert with the sun coming up or going down in the background'. I'm not mechanically minded and therefore dont understand most of the technicall stuff but it doesnt stop me reading it. I find Clarkson and Top Gear very irritating now (used to read his stuff when he wrote for performance car and found it refreshing at the time). But my 6 yr old son loves it as i said horses for courses really:)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top