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Old 26th January 2016, 08:26   #91
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Default Re: Automotive media and journalism in India- Waste of time?

I ve stopped buying and/ or subscribing to all these Auto Mags.
Major waste of money and time.
Vastly prefer to do my research on the internet.

I may be a bit harsh and judgemental here but I find that the quality of journalism and styles of writing by our Indian Auto Mags, to be mostly re-hashed versions of International articles and do not add much value.

Additionally, they spend way too much time talking about silly things like beige upholstery and some foolish gizmo inside the car.

TBHP has held on to the "purity of spirit" to a greater extent.

But frankly, even TBHP these days is chock full of "opinions" and "ranting" by members, for or against one or other manufacturer; so I pick and choose the articles I want to read.
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Old 16th September 2016, 00:19   #92
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Just came across this thread and I thought this long term review of the Creta I read recently on Overdrive deserves mention here. I'm not that frequent a reader of Overdrive but the quality of this article is particularly appalling. This one is not on bias - just bad quality. Read on and I'll analyse more below.

<http://overdrive.in/features/hyundai...-and-12-months>

Hyundai Creta long term review: After 25,089km and 12 months
Suresh bids farewell to one of his favourite long-term vehicles


The long-term stint of Hyundai Creta in OD garage that started with a journey from Leh to Kanyakumari via Mumbai is coming to an end. In this occasion I have good news and bad news. I think it is better to disclose the bad news first so that the good news that followed would reduce the effect of bad news. So here is the bad news!

The second half of the Creta’s stint was not very pleasant as it had to face some unpleasant road incidents. The first one was in Pune, a drunk on a bike came and hit the stationary Creta damaging the front bumper. Followed by that, the Creta was in the workshop for a month as the insurance claim took time. The second one was in Mumbai, the very day I picked up the Creta from the service centre. On my way back home, it was involved in a pile-up that happens way too often in Mumbai’s heavy traffic. The car in front of me jammed his brakes, and I managed to stop without touching it. Before I could finish the sigh of relief, the car behind hit me and he was slammed by the car behind him.

Fortunately, the incident did not result in too much visible damage, but there is a minor dent in the rear. The third incident happened one fine morning when the engine started, the indicators of ABS, traction control and steering wheel with an exclamation mark came on and the steering wheel felt very heavy to turn. The roadside assistance promptly sent a flatbed to carry it to the nearest service centre, and it was delivered back the very next day. Since then there is no major incident except three punctures at various times.

As I bid farewell to our long-term Creta, it’s the time to say thanks to the people who helped me perform my long-term test. First of all, thanks to the drunkard who hit me in Pune and put my car in the workshop for a month. Secondly, thanks to the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) for providing roads full of potholes. The Wagon R in front of me braked urgently to avoid falling into a pothole. Thanks to the good brakes and ABS in Creta, I could stop it without hitting the Wagon R, but the car behind me stopped after I used my brakes! I have a suggestion to the BMC –– if you think removing the first, potholed layer of road will uncover the perfectly laid layer underneath it, you are mistaken! You will only get 20 layers of even worse tarmac underneath. It is easier to lay a better surface after the monsoons! We have tolerated these deplorable conditions for all these years, thanks to your shoddy work!

Thirdly, I’d like to thank the piglet-sized rats of Mumbai for finding tasty snacks in the electrical wiring of the cars. Here, I have a suggestion to the wire manufacturers, please add rat poison to the insulation compound for social cause! I am very sure it would be appreciated by thousands of car owners in Mumbai!

Now, it’s time for good news –– the Creta has got nothing to do with the above-mentioned bad news! Sadly the above events are a fact of every car owner’s life in the great city of Mumbai. As a vehicle, the Creta has been a fantastic companion. I have been fortunate that my long terms for the past two years have been the “Car Of The Year” winners, and it is a hat-trick with the Creta! Ever since the Creta become my partner, it not only helped me with shoots but also was my trusted companion for three drives to Kerala. It is an ideal vehicle for long drives. At the end of the drive you remain as fresh as you started. The credit goes to the suspension, comfortable seats, comprehensive features, easy steering and the psychological effect of having a good safety net. Though there are some missing features compared with her younger sisters, I have no complaints. There’s also no two ways about the looks of Creta, I simply love the grille and the design of the head lamp. In fact, I don’t want to part ways with my love. I think I should try to get an extension to compensate the time I lost due to the insurance claim. Let me call Hyundai!

Date acquired: Sept 2015 Total mileage: 25,089km, Last report at: 17,369km, Fuel: 452 litres, Economy: 17.1kmpl


_______________



So folks, You've used 734 words to describe 25,000 kms worth of driving experience (and about 7,700 kms since the last report). Lets see what you've got!!

The first 500+ words (of 734) are used to describe road incidents in all of which our protagonist is completely blame free (great emphasis drawn on the second incident in particular). There is clearly an electronics issue with the car but the author does not specifically confirm what caused it. It might be rats given his later unconnected rants on rats in Mumbai but that's just guessing - no direct connection from his writing.

Lastly he suffered 3 punctures. Fortunately, he spared us the details of which puncturewala he went to.

Then he moves on to ranting about issues that impact any car owner / user in Mumbai or other metros for that matter. Namely, drunk / bad drivers, potholes (and therefore BMC) and rats. I'm not getting into the brief ABS review here but this drafting gem in that context may well be revisited:

Thanks to the good brakes and ABS in Creta, I could stop it without hitting the Wagon R, but the car behind me stopped after I used my brakes!

The car behind him stopped after he used his brakes. Slow clap please

I've pretty much lost the will to live by now but having trawled through 500+ words, I soldier on to get through the review, who knows, he might actually say something that sheds some light on the actual ownership of the car - if nothing else, I've read my humour column for the day.

So moving on ... Anything on the car yet? You have exhausted 2/3rd of your "review" (and me as well in the process)!!

Now, it’s time for good news –– the Creta has got nothing to do with the above-mentioned bad news! Sadly the above events are a fact of every car owner’s life in the great city of Mumbai..
Sweet lord, you knew that?? And yet you dedicated 2/3rds of your long term review to this? I've come this far - anything on the actual car yet?

And now comes Azhar's post match interview on how the boyz played well.

" .. fantastic companion ..blah ... I'm lucky I've had 3 COTYs ...blah .... helped me with shoots .... trusted companion ... blah ... you arrive fresh ... because of suspension, comfortable seats, comprehensive features, easy steering and the psychological effect of having a good safety net .... boyz played well .... fielding was good ... blah blah ... sangeeta waiting at home - gotta go ... blah"

Thanks for that detailed technical insight. Anything on the aesthetics? It is a long term ownership review after all. Its always good to know your view on aesthetics in a long term review. Why leave that to guys who do the First Look review.

Azhar continues ... "no two ways ... blah .. love the grill ... headlamp ... I don't want to part ways with my love ... sangeeta don't go ... wait wait - I'm calling Hyundai"
Report ends

On a more serious note though:

Style of writing: BAD
Relevance of content: BAD

There are numerous Initial Ownership threads on this site that will put the above review to shame. What was this journo thinking? He has shed absolutely no light on what an ownership experience of this vehicle would mean over an extended period of time. I'm not sure if this is an outlier example at Team OD or this is what the quality of their journalism has genuinely fallen to. Someone at OD will hopefully read this post and take some corrective steps.
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Old 16th September 2016, 12:23   #93
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
Style of writing: BAD
Relevance of content: BAD

There are numerous Initial Ownership threads on this site that will put the above review to shame. What was this journo thinking? He has shed absolutely no light on what an ownership experience of this vehicle would mean over an extended period of time.

<http://overdrive.in/features/hyundai...-and-12-months>
This chap is not a journo, he is chief photographer in OD.

I guess they gave this car for him to use and asked him to pen down his thoughts, though one of the editors could have worked on his report and made it more presentable before being published.

I was a OD reader from the first issue and was a regular till few years back when I stopped since I started feeling the magazines have become bulky to hold and read , half the mags are ads and writing seemed to get boring.

Last edited by tharian : 16th September 2016 at 12:31.
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Old 16th September 2016, 12:51   #94
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
I'm not that frequent a reader of Overdrive but the quality of this article is particularly appalling. This one is not on bias - just bad quality.
I used to buy and read overdrive issues when I was a little kid. Every train journey would bring me a new issue. Those days, Overdrive seemed to be miles ahead of Autocar while everything else was just a waste of money and time.

I have stopped reading these magazines now for the text is there just to fill pages which are left empty after dedicating the issue to ads. It is sad journalists don't put in the effort to write something that is worth reading. These magazines aren't cheaply priced and readers sure deserve to be presented with quality content.

I wonder if there are any Indian auto magazines now (Top Gear India, maybe?) whose articles warrant reading them second time.
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Old 16th September 2016, 14:15   #95
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Another train journey only Auto magazine reader here. Nowadays it doesn't really matter which one it is as long as it has info on cars that interest me. OverDrive IMHO is pure nonsense which I found out not recently, but years back. Their favorite cars, or should I say cars that had a lot of advertisements in their magazine, automatically became the recommended one without any logical reason. This observation was made by me not once but umpteenth number of times. Since then Autocar is what usually buy, but I find that its quality of articles has deteriorated a lot over the years. I thought that Auto India was a pretty decent one long long ago but don't find it on stands anymore. But if really want to read an in-depth review of a car, Team-BHP it is and and I have just read the Innova Crysta review all over again for the 5th time now Not being a fan boy but I really do not know any other well known auto forum in India that I have ever needed to visit after Team-BHP.
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Old 16th September 2016, 16:12   #96
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Guys spare a thought for some brilliant guys like Hormazd (ver1.0 with Auto India), Dilip Bam(2 wheeler reviewer with Auto India), Alan Cathcart and the older staff of 'Car and Bike' who democratized Auto Journalism in India. One of the greatest articles i had ever read was in Auto India two decades back with the title "50 years of Independence, but how far have we come". It was indeed collectors stuff but my folly, i did not keep the issue intact. Will request BHP ians to share this article if available with them.

Dilip Bam was a college professor cum journalist whose writing styles greatly influenced me and also created problems with my language examiners whenever i tried to imitate him.

Regarding the later ones what we see now, i agree with popular sentiment that these are bulky ad collections than magazines. Researched articles are too rare to find these days.
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Old 18th September 2016, 14:44   #97
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I touch an auto magazine only while waiting for my car to be returned by the service centre. I don't remember buying any magazine in last 6 years or so. Reason: poor journalism and teambhp.
Also, if you wish to check a new car out, its features, specs and onroad price, carwale android app is always there in your jeans pocket. Electronic media enables you compare any 4 cars of your choice free of cost. Its just too good.
If you want to understand what a particular car is all about, teambhp review is all you need to go through and how much time does it take to take in all that 5 star info? Half an hour at most, then why to read those half heartedly written magazines at all?
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Old 20th September 2016, 10:20   #98
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I have been a regular reader of automobile magazines in my school days, had many issues of overdrive , autocar. I and my friend used to exchange our magazines after reading, ever since I heard about teambhp during my college days I have stopped buying magazines and realised teambhp gives me unbiased quality opinions about cars.
I regularly read DIY and travelogue section which I feel is the most interesting in teambhp.
If anyone ask me what car should they buy I proudly send them the teambhp review of the cars and recommend reading it. Such is the quality of teambhp.
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Old 5th October 2016, 00:43   #99
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Automotive journalism has hit an all time low with Sirish Chandran in his special advertorial series with Audi. Not only is he blatantly plugging the car but also the Goodyear tyres. His videos on the Evo India youtube channel where he goes through great pains to say how great the Goodyear tyres are in a special video clip is such a blatant plug that you know he is getting paid to do it.
The irony is that everyone can see through the way he is openly plugging the tyres and the car. I don't understand what value Audi or Goodyear see in this association. No one is going to fall for his gushing enthusiasm and that's obvious in the number of views of his video. Barely in double digits.
I used to admire Sirish for his racy writing style and rally skills but he is now just another publisher / editor selling his soul to survive. Sad.
Thank God we have Team-bhp which has admirably remain uninfluenced by commercial pressures.
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Old 5th October 2016, 04:19   #100
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Saddening to see this - Sirish I thought was above all this stuff.

It is fine to speak well of a product as a daily user or if one has paid and bought a product and is enjoying the user experience. But it is NOT cool at all, to do this because one is being paid to do it. What difference is there then, between some Kareena Kapoor plugging some perfectly ghastly bit of jewellery or Deepika plugging some horrendous outlandish design?

Atleast in an ad, one is aware that the celebrity is being paid for it.
But in Journalism, then the "purity of spirit" is clearly at stake.

O B Keeler, the famous Atlanta Journalist, who was the longtime friend and biographer of Bobby Jones, arguably the World's Greatest Golfer of his time, commented once - "Money, it's gonna ruin Sport".

Its the same thing with journalism in today's crass, commercial, infidel world where nothing is sacrosanct any more and where even self respect is compromised on the altar of cash!

Lamentable indeed.
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Old 9th October 2016, 02:57   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
Guys spare a thought for some brilliant guys like Hormazd (ver1.0 with Auto India), Dilip Bam(2 wheeler reviewer with Auto India), Alan Cathcart and the older staff of 'Car and Bike' who democratized Auto Journalism in India. One of the greatest articles i had ever read was in Auto India two decades back with the title "50 years of Independence, but how far have we come". It was indeed collectors stuff but my folly, i did not keep the issue intact. Will request BHP ians to share this article if available with them.







Regarding the later ones what we see now, i agree with popular sentiment that these are bulky ad collections than magazines. Researched articles are too rare to find these days.

With all due respect, the entire sellout started with Hormazd and Autocar India's 'advertorials', most memorably about Skoda/VW. I remember a reliability score of 9/10 for the Skoda Superb in ACI, when they were at the peak of their DSG failures and engine-part-swapping period.
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Old 9th October 2016, 15:21   #102
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

There is simply a race-to-the-ethical-and-intellectual bottom in the commerical news-like media as a whole, most of whom seem to carry on for years despite it being well-known that there is VERY rarely any money to be made (esp not on tv) or that has-been-made in this line of er 'business' or in these 'journalistic' 'careers'. 'Supaari Journalism' and news-as-PR-cum-'entertainment-exercizes-and-excitations, etc. (I speak as an insider of sorts.)

The automagazines are just minor instances of it, imo. And frankly, still quite though this may be an inapt word to use: 'subtle' about it. For now. Their readerships and viewerships may be dipping severely, so it will get and is already getting much worse am certain.

Internet fora with a wide diversity of somewhat-independent opinion and expertise are clearly superior ('crowdsourcing') in such fields of mere-information and mere-consumer-taste-making.

The magazines, especially on tv, need to, instead of the literal-minded stuff they still profer, explore other more intelligently engaging formats a la Jeremy Clarkson perhaps. Might as well just become hopefully-witty-intelligent reality-tv shows and more-cinematic?

The mere-information dissemination (increasingly skewed according to company and industry PR agendas) approach is dead for magazines and on-tv in the age of the internet of infinite, 'free' and replicative/echoing info, and of 'free ka opinion' in herds and cascades, imo. As an even-half-honest 'business' that is.
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Old 9th October 2016, 17:03   #103
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

We in India, can't pay as much as corporations to keep news free from bias. That's the real truth.

Impropriety comes as second nature to a very significant section of the present generation, and a large part of that significant section has put itself into positions of influence.

Eventually, each of the parties will claim their opinion/narrative is "more balanced" (because they've anyway lost the "neutral & fair" stance).

Internet had become a good way to spread unbiased facts, but nowadays even this is being used to spread misinformation in an organised design.
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Old 10th October 2016, 00:01   #104
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We in India, can't pay as much as corporations to keep news free from bias. That's the real truth.

You're right, and I do tend to agree with you. But I can't help but wonder how international automotive press manages their economics? I'm sure 'Top Gear' had some choices to make - i wonder why they took a different from erstwhile respected auto opinion leaders like Hormazd? Do people may more in the UK for auto journalism?
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Old 10th October 2016, 00:28   #105
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Default Re: Auto Magazines - Commercially biased Journalism

Journalism is biased, whether its commercially or otherwise. This applies universally be it movie review, phone reviews or car reviews.

Key words to note here are perception deception - say something enough times and it becomes the accepted universal truth even if it isn't. How do you counter perception deception? Try out what you 'wanted' to try out, yourself instead of waiting for opinions.

There isn't one review out there of any single car that is completely true even if the reviewer is 100% honest, that's because even honesty, will still lead to writing ones own viewpoint and not necessarily the ultimate truth. Car magazines and as a matter of fact ANY magazine, cannot possibly be truthful because they rely on advertisements and sponsorships for a key portion of their income. Naturally any company that wants to protect its interests will suitably reward the magazine for being "favourable" to various degrees. All writers have a preference/inclination towards a certain brand or characteristics of an automobile and that will show in their writings 100%.

I find Indian automotive reviews mostly repetitive - one general opinion or perception is mirrored again and again, and they are highly biased depending on who they're working for/against. Do NOT rely on their opinion before taking the experience yourself. A certain car may not be so bad in handling after all whilst another car known for its build quality may not live up to it fully and while the magazine may find the performance great or poor, the owners of the car may feel just the opposite.

Test Drive - Take one before deciding. Magazines and others opinions do not cut it as far as automobiles go (no pun intended).
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