I know auto journalists and the organisations they work for are not rich in the
real sense. Auto journalists cannot travel all over the world and drive fancy
cars and bikes by spending their own money. No media house will encourage that.
But I am sure they can give “credit” to the OEMs for taking care of their
travel stay, food and wine. That will
only be fair to their viewers and readers who will then determine how much of
the report is actually biased or unbiased as the case may be.
have singlehandedly destroyed the fabric of modern day auto journalism. I am
sure there are ways to hand out cars and bikes to journalists without inviting
them over to a gala dinner and stay. While auto journalism was getting
corrupted in every which way, OEMs also started picking and choosing which
journalist to call for a drive or ride. And to make matters worse, they started
calling the social media influencers too for such events.
what is the difference between an auto journalist and an influencer? The former
represents a media house while the latter is just an entertainer. It’s like an
army commando and a mercenary going for a joint rescue operation. While the
quality of auto journalists can be controlled by the media house they
represent, the hard core influencer’s background cannot be determined. Today,
with YouTube becoming a hot bed for all kinds of influencers especially in the
field of automobile reporting, I feel it’s time to end and delete the words
“auto journalism”. There is nothing called auto journalism, it’s all fun and
games out there when it comes to news and views relating to automobile news.
By bringing the erstwhile auto journalists and
influencers together for press events, the OEMs have made a mockery of this
profession. They have always been making a mockery of the profession by their
freebies thrown in. Mind you, I am not saying being an influencer is bad. All I
am saying is stop misusing the word journalism and journalist. I can
confidently say “auto journalism” is dead. It’s now a new world of
“influencers”. Even CEOs and companies themselves have become influencers
because they can do exactly what a journalist can do on social media and to top
it, with their very deep pockets, they can ‘Boost’ ‘Promote’ or artificially
bump up the number of views, likes, followers, etc.
Motown India, our growth on YouTube has been purely organic. This means we did
not pay a single dime to get views for our channels. But whether your growth
has been organic or inorganic, the world cares a damn.
CEO of a leading auto company in India has millions of twitter followers. He
can simply tweet about his new car or anything about his company and there
would be a ready audience. I think he should just get rid of his PR teams,
because he is after all a one man PR champion!
for me, I am toying with the idea of becoming an influencer. Why confine myself
writing and talking about cars and bikes? It’s a big world out there. There is
plenty an influencer can do!