Change My Mind: Modern Motoring Journalism Is Too Formulaic
I want to know your impressions of the car, not a bunch of regurgitated facts from Wikipedia
Ten years ago, if you were to open up a copy of any motoring magazine, you'd find it littered with people's opinions about different cars that they'd been testing that week. They'd use elaborate similes and eye-catching metaphors to describe if the car was good or not. Take, for example, Jeremy Clarkson's motoring column in The Sunday Times. Each car he tests he describes fervently. He tells you what he thinks of the car. He doesn't just quote 0-60 times and prices. He tells the readers if the car looks good, if it's nice to drive, if it's a nice place to be. This is because he knows what the readers want. He knows that people aren't going to be impressed by his writing or engaged in the article if all he does is copy and paste facts. Unfortunately, the days of proper motoring journalism are dwindling as more and more people getting their degree in journalism seem to not actually be interested in journalism.
Nowadays, if you open up a copy of a motoring magazine, all you'll see is a bunch of mindless "journalists" quoting numbers and facts that they've knicked off of Wikipedia. Gone are the days of people telling you what they think of the car. It's as if all of the journalists have been replaced by monkeys.
I think this is a real shame, because as more and more motoring magazines and newspaper columns get filled with stuff copied and regurgitated from Wikipedia, the less and less interested the readers and subscribers will be. Which means, of course, that people won't want to subscribe to the magazines anymore. They won't want to spend their money on a magazine that's a bit all-mouth-and-no-trousers. Looks really colorful and pretty, but inside it's just full of rubbish from the internet.
So, Autocar, Motortrend, Car and Driver, if you're listening (or reading, rather), stop wasting people's time with facts that can be found in five minutes on the internet. Stop employing monkeys to write your magazine for you and go back to proper no-mucking-about journalism where the reader gets to see what the columnist actually thinks about the cars they've been testing. Please. Trust me, it'll save you in the long run, because you'll still have subscribers that are truly interested in reading your magazine.