Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pass The Matches

Caught an interesting media call out today, falling into my inbox with the interesting title: "Comments on Australian Automotive Industry & Rise of Luxury Import Car Sales spike"

"Summary: Need comments on the Demise of Falcon and Commodore in particular.

Details: Automotive piece in The Weekly Review to look at slump in iconic brands' sales (Ford/Holden) and the spike in sales of import vehicles including Jeep Chrysler, Audi/VW and JLR."

You can't really blame them can you? I mean, is there really a need to report information now, or just cut through the boring numbers etc. and just go straight for the flavour of the month beat-up?

Well, if your publication actually provides news, then I guess you would be required to maintain your integrity. Fortunately, "The Weekly Review" is a fluff rag for inner city Melbournites looking for an opportunity to get a jump on the neighbours who always seem to have, and be rid of, the latest fad before it's even featured on "The Panel" (how do they do it!?!) [/sarcasm].

You can't really blame the writers either. With Ron Hammerton on board (notable for his contributions to the well respected GoAuto), it's not like they picked up some lazy ass blogger to fill their Auto review department. Still, a cursory glance across their "Automotive" section shows the same level of superficial sales pitch style editorial policy that usually comes with regular broadsheet lift outs.

And that is the problem. These types of magazines (and newspapers) are made to appeal to as many people as possible, most of whom have little exposure to Automotive industry news. I'm not trying to poke holes in people with little to no interest in the industry. I wouldn't want to suffer their furrowed brow because I can't tell if a bottle of plonk is from Bordeaux or the Barossa. The point is, when you are reading about a subject outside your own interest, it is very easy to have your opinion swayed.

 Obviously it is this very audience where a dialogue with a deliberate negative intent (as with the media call out detailed above) will propagate unabated, and often unfounded, negative public opinion.  

My money is on Mr O'Neill from the Adelaide Centre of Economic studies putting up his hand as an expert industry commentator, but how can you expect an ex-advisor to the Greens, to pass on an unbiased view of the auto industry, to the less aware masses?

All I really want to see is fairer reporting from the Australian media. The fire starting headlines may raise readership, but they erode your integrity, just like citing a "spike" in luxury car import sales, despite the total volume of Audi or Land Rover not even getting into the top 20 for February.

You would think Land Rover would have fared better considering they've already had 2 full articles on the Evoque in The Weekly Review.

I'm sure it's a coincidence....... 
(and for the record George Ierodiaconou, on the last generation Ford Focus you could hold a button on the remote to drop all the windows, waaaay before the Land Rover Evoque even hit the concept car scene. Did you know that Land Rover used to be owned by Ford, and, now they are owned by Indian car maker, Tata?)

There you go. The truth can be interesting.

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