According to the Autoblog bio, European editor Noah Joseph came to automotive journalism after several years as a public affairs consultant. Over the weekend, thanks to Jalponik writer Travis Okulski, a portion of Joseph’s Facebook affairs have been made very public.
Joseph’s musing about auto industry events swag was posted in “Automotive Industry,” an invite-only Facebook group. So from our perspective, it’s not so much about the uproar as it is about whether Okulski, writing for a direct competitor, should have screen-grabbed something posted within such a realm’s confines? (Our answer, fyi, is: no.) From the Jalopnik item:
Most auto journalists are members, and the discussions are usually trite, meaningless pablum like the food being bad at the Kia Sorrento event or self-serving announcements on how they’re moving from the St. Louis Tribune to the St. Louis Star.
… But then there are other times, where auto journalists go from nice, slightly boring people into the worst kind of entitled assholes who believe their entire career is a vacation funded by the companies that they write about. That’s the thread that popped up last [Thursday] night.
We can’t even agree with that, as the comment made by Joseph, if you read it carefully, is not really about personal entitlement. While there was no disclaimer attached at the time of the Jalopnik swoop through the three-year-old discussion group, the Gawker Media website also saw fit to post reactions within the group to Joseph’s share. You can bet most if not all of these other ambushed journalists are none too pleased.
[Editor’s Note: Over the course of three days, we reached out to both Jalopnik and Autoblog, receiving no response from the former and only brief no comment from the latter.]