First drive, exit, driving report, test or something like that - that's what we call the articles on autohub.de where we introduce our readers to a new car, I nachdem we drove it. An idea is an article about a vehicle that we did not drive ourselves - but what we would never do is: To “fake” an article. To pretend we drove a car and then report on how the car drives. A matter of honor, right? Just “journalist basics”, right? But that's how all auto journalists work, isn't it? Unfortunately, no.
This is how AutoBild leads the reader by the nose
"The steering works directly and precisely"
It is completely normal for the automobile manufacturers to offer the big auto magazines special candies that invisibly buzz past us small online publishers. Things under the radar of the general motor journaille. Hammer stories, exclusively for the paper mills of the publishing houses. After all, the big publishers are subsidized with fabulous advertising deals. The aim is to keep the readers excited about the new models in a controlled manner.
But free. After 5 years in this industry you accept that.
The new C-Class Coupé celebrates its premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt in a few weeks - as an automobile manufacturer you can call the editorial office in Hamburg and ask: Hey, don't you want to make a story about the new C-Coupé ?
How AutoBild led Mercedes-Benz around
Of course you want to drive an entirely new model exclusively, in advance? Clear. And what comes out of it?
But then the air conditioning in the AutoBild editorial office had to fail and in Hamburg they went crazy
The “ride” in a prototype. Usual fare. The manufacturer offers something to the auto publisher, who will take advantage of it. But then the air conditioning in the AutoBild editorial office must have failed and people went crazy in Hamburg (so my speculation!).
And the ride was a comparison test and the camouflaged prototypes were removed from the camouflaged Erlkönig by computer retouching - and a “typical” picture product was ready. A lead story that only cares about the effect, not the truthfulness. And where do you inform the reader about the retouching of the photo? Nowhere!
C-Coupe vs. Ford Mustang
You have to look for the journalistic added value of the comparison of the C-Coupé and the Ford Mustang, in the end both serve completely different target groups. But well, the Mustang was just available in the U.S. (speculation) and there is also huge interest in Germany in the new Ford pony.
Peng, that's how you make “stories”.
The fact that the reader is fooled by that doesn't seem to be so important to the editorial team in Hamburg. My God, who wants to know if our editor really yourself drove? And here my-auto-blog can give the confirmation: No, the AutoBild editor did not drive the new C-Class Coupé himself. (The editor himself was unfortunately not ready to comment .. presumably Hamburg gave him a muzzle .. again speculation) How do you come to the conclusion that the steering works directly and precisely? Or how one could experience the conviction: "The more the Mercedes Coupé is challenged, the more it takes on the character of a sports car." - it remains a mystery to me.
Or how you can only put this article online at all. Photos that have been retouched on the computer without notifying the reader - pretending to have been able to experience a “first comparison”. If you read the comments under the corresponding online article, it becomes clear: The AutoBild reader understood the story exactly as it was calculated in Hamburg. Or to put it another way, one has deliberately fooled the reader of one's own paper.
Was that agreed with Mercedes-Benz?
Mercedes-Benz unofficially denies this. Yes - a first “ride” had been offered. That in the end it is pretended that AutoBild could test the new C-Coupé against a “competitor” before the vehicle is presented to the public, no, that was not agreed. And one can only say: Be ashamed in Hamburg.
Lied to the reader, fooled the manufacturer.
Now it's the manufacturer's own fault. Everyone knows that publishers are in a crisis. Paper runs are falling, advertising revenue is melting away faster than “respect for the reader”. Every means is right. Edition. Clicks. Lifebuoys and ancillary copyright law. And unclean journalism.
Especially the AutoBild
It wasn't long ago that AutoBild asked on a double page: “Should auto bloggers be allowed to test cars?” What followed was a confused discussion of the problems that publishers had with free online users. Accusations, allegations and disparities condensed and initiated by “journalists” with fear of the future.
Today - after this reader ashing in AutoBild, the question should be asked again:
"Should readers continue to believe the journalism of the Auto-Bild editors?"
But you as a reader of mein-auto-blog can trust me, I personally vouch for that, and we will only make a comparison in the future if we have both driven our own cars. We will not cheer you on any pictures that we have retouched on the PC just to dupe you!