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Journalists understand the severity of consequences if an article somehow breaches public accountability. Former CBC and current Al Jazeera editor Tony Burman once said, “Every news organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on.”
However, Autoblog has encountered criticism lately after publishing an article where a writer received third party payment for their literary work. During September 2011, writer for Autoblog Jeff Glucker published an article promoting Nissan’s new marketing campaign for its Versa compact. However, it was later revealed that Glucker was also working for the agency running the campaign. Because Glucker did not notify Autoblog of his cash compensations from the PR firm before he wrote the article, Glucker was promptly fired.
More recently (last Thursday, January 12th, to be exact), Autoblog published an article on the Bonhams’ auction of cars and memorabilia that belonged to the late David E. Davis Jr. However, the finishing sentence of the article drew particular attention– “Go to the Bonhams site and start your bidding for a piece of history from the lifetime of a larger than life car connoisseur and story teller.”
Autoblog’s story caught the attention of the self-proclaimed integrity commission of automotive journalism, The Truth About Cars (TTAC). TTAC’s investigation revealed that the author of the article, Matt Davis, happens to be the son of David E. Davis. The assumption (yes, an assumption, but hardly unwarranted) is that the as the son (Matt Davis) would logically benefit from the proceeds of the auction of items belonging to the estate of his father.
TTAC investigated further, calling Bonhams to confirm whether Matt Davis was the owner of the auction items. Bonhams refused to comment as they were responsible of protecting the privacy and the identity of the seller.
TTAC then reached AOL Autos Editor-In-Chief David Kiley, who assured TTAC that Davis did not act or write with the intent of personal gain and did not bring the story to the editorial team, a key difference between Jeff Glucker’s incident. In fact, Autoblog requested and assigned Matt Davis for the piece due to the relationship. Kiley added, “We should have put the disclaimer on it when it was first published, but as soon as I saw it, I corrected that, and we are confident that Matt is not profiting from the auction.”
There are no indications that Matt Davis will be fired from Autoblog because of the Bonhams article.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
German automakers VW, BMW and Mercedes dominate awards
While not nearly so popular as the International Automobile of the Year Awards, once annually a jury of 65 automotive journalists from 30 countries gets together to decide what the best engines are. The International Engine of the Year Awards celebrate engine technology, giving honors to engines in 12 specific categories, including the overall International Engine of the Year award.
This year the top position went to Volkswagen for its TSI Twincharger, which can be found in Volkswagens like the Golf, Scirocco, Eos, Jetta, Touran, Tiguan and the Seat Ibiza Cupra. It makes 178hp and 177 ft-lbs of torque from a turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. That is an impressive 127.1 horsepower per liter. Possibly even more impressive, the engine gets an average fuel-economy rating of 45.5 mpg.
Impressively the TSI Twincharger was noted for winning favor with journalists outside Europe, including North America, Asia and South America. American Matt Davis said that, “Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter TSI EA111 is still way ahead of the curve, sensationally over-engineered in all the right ways, and even makes the company’s fantastic 2-litre TFSI already look like yesterday’s tech.”
With those figures the TSI Twincharger also claimed the award for best engine in the 1.0- to 1.4-liter class, as well as the Green Engine of the year class. It also unseated the BMW twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine, which took the top honors in both 2007 and 2008.
In total, German automakers look awards in 11 of the 12 spots with Toyota the lone exception in the Sub 1.0-liter Class for it’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder, which can be found in the Aygo, IQ, Yaris/Vitz, Citroën C1, Peugeot 107 and Subaru Justy.
The award for Best New Engine of the Year went to Porsche for its direct-injection 3.8-liter flat-six, while the Best Performance Engine award was won by the Mercedes/AMG 6.2-liter V8.
Follow the jump for a full-list of the 2009 International Engine of the Year winners: