Telegraph Motoring Section - Engineer Andy

Has anyone been noticing the following on the Telegraph's website as regards their Motoring, sorry, 'Cars' section of late:

  1. A much reduced HJ Agony collumn (compared to his full one here every Saturday), infrequent (it used to be once a week some time ago and was very popular with online subscribers - lots of comments before);
  2. So-called 'car reviews' are little more than glossy adverts for premium German brands and performance cars. Almost nothing in the reviews about reliability and issues concerning customer service with the brand;
  3. When car reviews (e.g. the recent Audi A8) are listed, and have a user comments section at the end of the article, any negative comments (however politely put) are either summarily removed or the whole comments ection deleted. Some of the articles' authors have got quite shirty with people commenting and I suspect have been the cause of this.
  4. In my view, no more 'proper' investigative journalism into poor customer service/cheating/collusion/over-pricing or rip-offs as regards car firms (buying from or maintaining at) or independent garages, insurance firms and retailers or parts and equipment. Dieselgate is barely ever mentioned and, if I recall correctly, was only reported on secondhand and never had affected VAG's test scores in the reviews, nor has other reliabillity/customer service issues.

It seems the quality of the DT has gone downhill a LOT in recent years, yet are charging more and more for online subscriptions. To me, there's far more 'fluff' and the type of articles that I'd see on (IMO) cheesy so-called news websites like MSN and the Daily Mail/Express. Very little serious journalism any more. HJ and his team here is still doing great work, but there's far less decent journalism out there, in motoring and more generally than there was 10-15 years ago, even taking into account the hard economic times we've faced.

I often have to turn to US, Canadian and Aussies on YouTube and elsewhere to fill in the blanks on some issues and for practical car maintenance advice. Many so-called journos in the UK seem, to me at any rate, to be in hock with the car manufacturers and suppliers.

Telegraph Motoring Section - bazza

Agree, I used to read the online version but not anymore. My problem with it is the extreme right wing flavour and it morphs ever closer to the awful Daily Mail for its attention grabbing headlines and negativity in general. It's very difficult to get balanced news and opinion in the UK in general, I find the FT and Reuters UK the best. For car opinion, this website remains good. All the car mags are too close to the manufacturers and the journos only intent on lapping the Nurburgring in the latest Audi/BMW whatever turbo. No point in reading the reviews because we already know that the one with the German badge will typically win! There's also an American website called "The Truth About Cars" (which has a good blog and interesting to see the automotive world across the pond.

Telegraph Motoring Section - daveyjp
The newspaper industry is goimg down the pan.

Very few people buy them, certainly not enough to keep them going, so the only way is advert revenue. If VAG send millions to you every year they will never build a bad car.
Telegraph Motoring Section - oldroverboy.

It is obvious to me that the "advertisers" are calling the tune in the motoring press and in the press in general.

I agree about the DT lowering their standards, Have gien up buying the paper version and the online version is mostly behind a paywall.

I recently wrote a negative review about a hire car from a major company and iit was deleted.

Telegraph Motoring Section - RT

It is obvious to me that the "advertisers" are calling the tune in the motoring press and in the press in general.

I agree about the DT lowering their standards, Have gien up buying the paper version and the online version is mostly behind a paywall.

I recently wrote a negative review about a hire car from a major company and iit was deleted.

I find that so many so-called journalistic articles just re-gurgitate press releases from business's.

It surprises me that newspapers have survived this long - they've been rubbished for decades for glaring inaccuracies and should have died with TV was introduced - but that now has the same issues!

Telegraph Motoring Section - gordonbennet

Gave up on newspapers over 30 years ago, and given the unveiled bias of much of the MSM don't bother with live telly or radio any longer, the only comment/affairs style publication i read (subscribe), is Spectator.

Telegraph Motoring Section - Manatee

Today's Telegraph must have been a record weight, never mind the quality, feel the width!

I don't subscribe, I gave up some time ago when they couldn't seem to stop printing pictures of Kate Middleton, but I volunteer in a community shop on Saturday mornings. My first job is to assemble the Telegraphs, inserting the SaturdayWeekend, Travel and magazines into the main paper. Today's pile when collated was the highest I can recall, about a yard high for only 34 papers. How a paper that keeps cutting staff and has got rid of the separate Motoring, Gardening and Money sections can keep getting bigger makes one wonder what they can be filling it with - mostly press releases and advertorial presumably.

The whole damn lot should be dropped on the weird Barclay twins from a great height. Nobody can possibly read it all, not that anybody would want to.

Telegraph Motoring Section - NARU

I often skim the main articles online.

There was a report recently about pensions and how to stay below the Lifetime allowance. It was behind the paywall. No worries - I went out and bought the paper from the newsagent.

The article included two major inaccuracies. Both related to the core subject, and anyone following the advice would be in for a tax/income shock.

I could have written a better article.

Unfortunately, it seems this is more and more of the trend in the telegraph. Whenever there is a major article on personal finance, I get very suspicious and try to see which institution sponsored it. I certainly wouldn't make any investments based on their recommendations.

Edited by Marlot on 15/10/2017 at 09:53

Telegraph Motoring Section - John F

I agreed so much with the OP that I cancelled our Sat Telegraph a few weeks ago. The only reasons we took it just on Saturdays were for the now terrible motoring section (not just the outdated dogma re oil changes;-) and the prize xword (bit easier than our usual daily Times Xword). Internet news is OK but newspaper is always useful, eventually providing heat in the woodburner and more CO2 for the next crop of trees. I think they will be around for some time yet, a bit like vinyl records and CDs!

Telegraph Motoring Section - catsdad
Sunday Times is even worse. Haven't seen todays yet but I expect it will be the usual.. one item each week on a C-listers car history, a few dull letters from readers and Clarkson padding out a review of some £50k exotica with a tedious anecdote. Like the DT it used to have a full motoring supplement but no longer.

No doubt today's Sunday Telegraph will have one of its wandering travel articles cut and paste around the fact they went by car. Who reads it?

Sadly its the way of the world with print journalism and the cost of production versus falling ad revenue.
Telegraph Motoring Section - expat

Catsdad wrote

>> the cost of production versus falling ad revenue.

The falling ad revenue is the crux of the matter. In the past there were lots of big ads by car dealers in the car section. Each of the major dealers used to take a complete page and some took up to six pages. No more. I don't know about the Uk but here in Australia the motoring section of the newspaper is looking very skinny. I wouldn't be surprised if they drop it. All the used car dealers are advertising on line and the flow of money to the newspaper has stopped.

Telegraph Motoring Section - Engineer Andy

Catsdad wrote

>> the cost of production versus falling ad revenue.

The falling ad revenue is the crux of the matter. In the past there were lots of big ads by car dealers in the car section. Each of the major dealers used to take a complete page and some took up to six pages. No more. I don't know about the Uk but here in Australia the motoring section of the newspaper is looking very skinny. I wouldn't be surprised if they drop it. All the used car dealers are advertising on line and the flow of money to the newspaper has stopped.

In my view, newspapers are currently getting it badly wrong vis-a-vis advertising: I find the Telegraph has way too much on their website, often very heavy graphics (and video/flash type) orientated which dramatically slows down all but the latest high-spec PCs and tablets. It is for this reason that I now use ad blockers to stop 95% of such ads to at least make the browsing experience worthwhile - even though I have (for its age - its 6yo) a decent PC, my 3-4yo tablet struggles with the DT website, even on Firefox WITH the adblockers. Never have any serious problems with the BBC website, even with its video content.

I also think that many in the media are trying to sell their ads to the wrong market, or at least solely to one section of society - the young (hence why so much is flashy-graphics, fast-moving cr@p that most people over 40 don't want to see). My dad no longer buys the DT on a daily basis, at most the occasional Saturday edition. He too believes that the quality of the journalism and level of decent content has dropped dramatically since the online version started. I don't think its much different for other newspapers.

Telegraph Motoring Section - bolt

I agreed so much with the OP that I cancelled our Sat Telegraph a few weeks ago. The only reasons we took it just on Saturdays were for the now terrible motoring section (not just the outdated dogma re oil changes;-) and the prize xword (bit easier than our usual daily Times Xword). Internet news is OK but newspaper is always useful, eventually providing heat in the woodburner and more CO2 for the next crop of trees. I think they will be around for some time yet, a bit like vinyl records and CDs!

They cant be doing that well as every time I get a news report (excluding BBC and Google news ) they ask for a subscription, saying they cant survive without it.. some wont give information if you dont subscribe

vinyls are making a comback according to local shop

Telegraph Motoring Section - Andrew-T

Read The Times - it doesn't bother with a motoring section. :-)

Telegraph Motoring Section - argybargy

I buy the "I" two or three times a week.

Fake news is entirely excluded and the editorial tends to adopt an attitude that would be shunned as "limp wristed" by the Trumps of this world. The paper regularly features comment by folks from both sides of the left/ right spectrum, as well as none. Nothing to frighten any horses within its pages. Comes in handy for lighting the woodburning stove also.

Migrating from the "Toff's Mail" to the "I" would be a good career move for HJ.

Edited by argybargy on 15/10/2017 at 11:41

Telegraph Motoring Section - oldroverboy.

I buy the "I" two or three times a week.

Fake news is entirely excluded and the editorial tends to adopt an attitude that would be shunned as "limp wristed" by the Trumps of this world. The paper regularly features comment by folks from both sides of the left/ right spectrum, as well as none. Nothing to frighten any horses within its pages. Comes in handy for lighting the woodburning stove also.

Migrating from the "Toff's Mail" to the "I" would be a good career move for HJ.

I even look at HJ's site and take it with a pinch of salt... especially when the replies are as someone noted a few eeks ago.. pug 1.2 puretech/michelin all weathers / shell vpower... etc etc etc....

Telegraph Motoring Section - oldroverboy.

Quote from a Sunday Paper review..

" This bulletproof 1.6 diesel will suit just about everyones's needs.."

(and they don't add that a suitableble mileage is required)

Edited by oldroverboy. on 15/10/2017 at 15:24

Telegraph Motoring Section - Dogfuzz

I was introuced to Honest John via the motoring pages in the DT yonks ago. Then I discoved this app/website--which as far as i can tell is the best on line Motoring Magazine/Blog going.

I look forward to the double parted Ask HJ section , usually available on a friday pm-it never ceases to be a useful 10 minute read

The problem with all lifestyle feature pages in newspapers and magazines is that they are all sponsored-providing free copy to newspapers, who then take their pick according to what editorial space is available plus the weekly spin they feel worthwhile

This sponsored "copy" is-as said- for the most part PR related ,but is always worth a read , but my advice is don't for heaven's sake bother buying bucket loads of glossy motoring magazines.Either go in person to a library or sign up for their free on line library magazine services, where What Car, Autocar and AutoExpress are neatly and completly available.

Edited by Doubleug on 16/10/2017 at 11:47

Telegraph Motoring Section - madf

e

This sponsored "copy" is-as said- for the most part PR related ,but is always worth a read , but my advice is don't for heaven's sake bother buying bucket loads of glossy motoring magazines.Either go in person to a library or sign up for their free on line library magazine services, where What Car, Autocar and AutoExpress are neatly and completly available.

Available on line free.. As blocker and incognito help

Telegraph Motoring Section - gordonbennet

This sponsored "copy" is-as said- for the most part PR related ,but is always worth a read , but my advice is don't for heaven's sake bother buying bucket loads of glossy motoring magazines.Either go in person to a library or sign up for their free on line library magazine services, where What Car, Autocar and AutoExpress are neatly and completly available.

Well as they say, every day is a schoolday.

I had no idea you could view magazines online via the library for free, will have to get meself singed up.

Much obliged to me learned friend for that handy bit of news.

Telegraph Motoring Section - RaineMan

I used to get a daily paper, including weekends, but gave up as I got fed up with biased reporting and editorials. Afterwards I tended to buy either a Saturday or Sunday paper three weekends in four. However, the increasing size and price put me off and I now only buy the occasional issue if something catches my eye. 50% r more probably gets recycled without a second glance. For decades I also brought Motor/Autocar but over a decade ago I gave Autocar up as much of the content was of limited appeal. Editorial policy and advertiser influence have much to answer for. Our local freesheet used to do honest reviews of cars and restaurants till around twenty years ago. Now no one every seems to serve a bad meal (from experience many do often sinking without trace after a year or two) and all cars are faultless. All I buy now are the odd classic car/motorcycle magazine and any magazine that has something of interest (and that is not many).

Telegraph Motoring Section - Slow Eddie

Like GB, I'm much obliged for the online library tip, Doubleug (...WG, I geddit!). I actually logged on a few years ago to get a few e-books, didn't realise so many magazines were fully accessible. (Wonder what the licensing terms are - these publications must be feeling the pinch.)

Telegraph Motoring Section - Avant

I think that some if not all of the motoring magazines must be suffering from lower sales. Not only are younger people less enthusiastic about cars (to my knowledge, none of my four 30-something children has even bought a car magazine); but people are reading what they want to online (mainly road tests and long-term tests), and now apparently you can read them for free on your library's website (see above).

They are becoming more dependent on advertising revenue, which itself becomes more fragile if circulation goes down. I remember as long ago as the 1970s CAR magazine said what it thought of the Volvo 240 (no doubt the words 'Swedish tank' appeared a few times) and for some time thereafter Volvo refused to advertise in CAR.

We can complain as much as we like, but ultimately every trading business has to make money.

Edited by Avant on 16/10/2017 at 17:33

Telegraph Motoring Section - argybargy

I began buying Car Mechanics magazine in the early 90s. I started buying it because at the time I was frustrated at my inability to deal with the problems that a series of bad buys threw up and which were poorly or non addressed by the garages I bought them from; often forcing me to pay main dealers to do the work. My subscription carried on for about ten years, but reading the magazine was only ever a voyeuristic habit, given that I didn't have a garage or any indoor space where I could practice the techniques being featured and discussed; nor was it usually possible, or safe to work on my car on the highway.

Generally speaking modern cars are far too complicated for Joe Public to work on, except maybe simpler stuff like brakes.That might be another reason why magazines that tell you how to work on your car are becoming less popular, their readership becoming restricted to those who have the time, determination, facilities and in some cases maybe, instinctive meanness to keep their old cars on the road.

The sort of glossy car magazines that focus on comparing models, blather on about how many more BHP this car has than that one, and feature photographs of said cars hurtling along alpine roads, piloted by smirking pinups who probably wouldn't know a disc from a drum, hold no interest for me.

Which is why I like this site. Real, practical, hands on advice about actual bits of metal that I might even one day be able to get my mitts on.

Edited by argybargy on 16/10/2017 at 19:49

 

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