Hello from the New Managing Editor
Hello out there in TTAC land,
My name is Tim Healey and I am the new managing editor for The Truth About Cars.
Thatâ€™s a strange thing to type, but itâ€™s true. Pretty cool.
You probably donâ€™t know much about me. Iâ€™ve not written for TTAC nor am I a well-known commenter. I have freelanced for other automotive sites, so perhaps youâ€™ve seen my byline there. Iâ€™ve also been in this business for around a decade, so my name may be familiar to you.
If not, well, youâ€™ll get to know me over the coming weeks, months and years. But enough about me. Youâ€™re here, like I am, for the cars. Donâ€™t worry, by the way â€“ I am a car guy.
I will get to that in a second. Right now, youâ€™re probably wondering whatâ€™s going to happen with the site now that itâ€™s under new management. In the near term â€“ not much. Mark had things rolling along nicely and I plan to continue his efforts. I donâ€™t believe in barging in and making major changes before I know the lay of the land, so in the short term, any changes to TTAC will likely be minor. In the longer term, there may be ways to make the site better, be it a redesign or a change in tone or content â€“ but those changes will occur organically, if they occur at all, and since we work for you, the Best and Brightest, your input will be a part of any major changes that affect how you interact with TTAC.
As for the cars â€“ well, I want more of them. More cars reviews, more car news, more deep-dive features, more original stand-alone journalism and content you canâ€™t get elsewhere. The trick is doing it â€“ itâ€™s an unfortunate truth of the automotive journalism industry that in order to do this job well, journalists need to have some level of access to the automakers, at least in the form of press cars and attendance at press junkets.
So how to do that without selling out the honesty that TTAC is known for? For me, itâ€™s simple â€“ I can be critical of a car or automaker (harsh, even) without being unduly poisonous, and I expect the same of the staff. In other words, criticism is fair, being a slang term for male anatomy is unnecessary. I am not afraid to call a spade a spade â€“ if a negative review of a car hurts us, so be it, as our responsibility is to you, the reader. But our aim, as noted above, is to be honest without being jerks.
We have to be honest. After all, as former newsbot Aaron Cole wrote once during his tenure here, itâ€™s in the damn name (I am paraphrasing). Honesty also means calling out the good when we see it.
Essentially, we have no use for the lazy journalists who just rewrite press releases and basically serve as unpaid PR employees, but being cynical all the time can also lead one to miss the truth, too.
That means that we will not pull punches. We will be honest about what we drive and how the industry works, even as we work with automakers when needed in order to bring you reviews and other features. Thereâ€™s no good way to write about cars and remain competitive without accepting press loans or trips, but itâ€™s not hard to be honest and offer full disclosure when necessary. Furthermore, itâ€™s one thing to attend a junket, but another to work as unwilling pawns in marketing. We may do the former, but we will work tirelessly to avoid doing the latter.
Other housekeeping of note â€“ Markâ€™s six rules for commenting remain in effect (rule number one: Donâ€™t be a you-know-what). Passionate, well-reasoned debate is fine and healthy, encouraged even, but personal attacks and outright bigotry of any kind is not and will not be tolerated.
Weâ€™re also going to work to keep politics that arenâ€™t related to industry on the sidelines, as this is an automotive web site. Obviously the political world and the world of the automotive industry collide quite often, and we wonâ€™t shy away from offering context, analysis and (clearly labeled) opinion when appropriate, but we will save our opinions on Trump/Bernie/Hillary/the Dems/the GOP for our barrooms, living rooms and our personal side blogs.
Finally, even though we are a car site, we will not forget that there is a wider world out there, and that the automotive industry intersects with that world in many, many ways. Cars are the main focus here, but not the only thing, and we are cognizant of that.
I already wrote more than I planned on this subject, so I will wrap up now. I look forward to interacting with you all in the comments, on social media and in the real world as time moves forward. For now, sit back and enjoy the ride. I know I will.
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via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
August 9, 2017 at 11:05AM
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