Introductory Lecture On Motoring Journalism

Motoring Journalism is a very misunderstood career because the end-users (readers, TV viewers etc.) only see the finished product, which typically is glossy, glamorous and seemingly endless fun. The reality, however, is rather different, and possibly even more so in South Africa.

This one-day introductory lecture was conceived to address those inaccurate perceptions and to paint a more realistic picture of what the career really is about. A large number of lecture attendees had made decisions prior to attending the lecture, but informed me afterwards that they had subsequently revised their plans.

The lecture focuses on the following topics:

  • Defining motoring journalism – not all writing about cars is journalism… I also look at the various sub-categories, such as entertainment writing and niche-specific content generation.
  • State of the nation – who are the big players in South Africa, where are the opportunities etc.? And what is really happening to print? Which are the main digital platforms of today and the future?
  • Reality check – what is motoring journalism really all about? What is the lifestyle really like? What job opportunities are there and what type of pay can you expect? etc.
  • Know your audience – the importance of understanding your target audience and tailoring content.
  • Tools of the trade – what do you need to become a successful motoring journalist? Studies, writing ability, driving ability, general knowledge and the importance of frame of reference.
  • Ethics and Industry relationships – as the saying goes, all motoring journalism is inherently corrupt. But is it really? Dealing with the motor industry PRs etc.
  • Social media – how to best use the various social media platforms to build your profile.
  • Vehicle evaluations – the must do’s and don’ts.
  • And all other questions answered

In this one-day lecture I will share insights and learnings from 13 years at CAR magazine, 2 years in the motor industry with GWM and more than a year at my current employer, digital giant Cars.co.za. Consequently, attendees will be provided with valuable information on print and digitally biased motoring media, as well as the manufacturer/importer’s point of view.

I will also request all attendees to provide two writing examples (brief will follow after confirmed attendance) and I will provide feedback to each attendee.

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