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Dodgins' Latest Column


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#1 HopkinsonF1

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 11:22

I've long had a few issues with the quality of subediting on autosport.com, but in Tony Dodgins' latest column there's a statement which simply shouldn't appear on a respected website:

"In these more enlightened days you have to 'engage' with your audience and so, instead of the plummy queen's English-delivering ex-Eton, Oxbridge public schoolboys that proliferated on the BBC from the middle of the last century, you now have a good cross-section of attractive women, coloured people and regional dialect."

Such comments might be acceptable in one of Littlejohn's columns, as by buying the Mail you accept a certain political stance, but that's not the case with subscribing to Autosport. People who pay to read Autosport.com Plus aren't making a political statement, they're registering their love of a sport which is shared by, and brings together, people with wide-ranging views. Unlike the tabloids and broadsheets, which have always been a dividing factor among people, publications like Autosport help bring people together, as last weekend's Autosport show in Birmingham demonstrates.

With that in mind, publishing articles which may alienate those who hold certain political views is disrespectful to the people who have paid their subscriptions to help produce this content. Motorsport has been around for just over a century, but from Dodgins' language (not even Littlejohn uses the word 'coloured'!) you'd be forgiven for thinking Autosport took its editorial values from the Victorians.

I'll continue to pay my subscription to Autosport Plus, but please, can you spend it on hiring better subeditors? Ones who know that it should say "plummy Queen's-English delivering" rather than "plummy queen's English-delivering", and who don't let divisive sentiments like Dodgins' get through the copy editing stage.

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#2 pacificquay

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 13:38

Looks like the racist word has been removed

#3 JForce

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 18:59

Whilst I may not like the sentence much, the reality is that Tony's column is an opinion piece, not an editorial or straight article representative of Autosport's position on things. In my view that does mitigate it a fair bit in terms of understanding why it was left in.

#4 acharman

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:23

Well I'm much too late to the party, but I started looking for somewhere to leave feedback purely because of that column by Dodgson.

In general opinion pieces are a waste of time, but in something like Autosport there is a space for them because intelligent hard-working journalists have adequate time to find out much more than armchair enthusiasts. Some of the opinion pieces published by autosport offer well-researched and informed opinions that command a lot of respect.

But when someone just sits at a keboard and types badly informed non-sequiturs based on prejudice, they should post it to a chat forum where they will get (rightly) shot down. HopkinsonF1 is quite right to blame the editors; they should keep the standards of writing high enough to keep us reading, not just chuck something in to fill a space.

"Attractive women, coloureds and regional dialects" is indicative of such lazy prejudice is hard to know where to start. If Dodgson has nothing to say, he should do some WORK and research a piece that tells us more about motor racing. Admitting that he doesn't even watch the TV coverage and then offering opinions about it is as silly as it is lazy. We are all experts on the TV coverage. That's what left to us. What's the point in him writing to us about that?

#5 david_martin

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 20:50

Historical accuracy has never been one of Tony's strongpoints, but his latest piece is really bad in places. I can accept that Tony is so jaundiced that he couldn't be bothered dusting off an FIA yearbook or two to refresh his memory, but does Autosport have subeditors? Does anyone with even half a clue read this stuff before it gets published?

Laid back and affable like most Finns, I first met Lehto when I was doing some PR work for Marlboro and he came to England to race in FF2000 with backing from the tobacco company. From there, he went on to be British F3 champion in 1988 and arrived in F1 for Sauber's debut season back in '93.


JJ Lehto got his first drive in F1 at the tail end of 1989, when Keke Rosberg (his then manager) got him into Betrand Gachot's seat at Onyx. He continued with Onyx into 1989 until the team folded after Hungary, followed by two full seasons at Scuderia Italia-Dallara, including a podium finish at the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix. By the time he lined up on the grid at Kylami in 1993 for Sauber, which Nigel would have us believe was his F1 debut, he was already entering his fifth F1 season, with (by my quick reckoning)46 appearances, and 39 starts under his belt! Everybody gets a year or a race or a driver wrong occasionally, but that is a pretty egregious error.

Please try harder.

#6 scheivlak

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 23:56

Maybe Autosport should realize that at least half of Tony's columns are simply almost unintelligible for anybody who doesn't live on those islands.....

#7 Madeup Name

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:31

Tony Dodgins column this week ("The most logical move in F1 this week") contains plenty of unnecessary moaning and expounding of views that are unrelated to motorsport and frankly don't fit on a site such as Autosport imho.

In this column, Tony implies that because Andy Gray was fired for asking a female colleague to fiddle with the his trousers, he (Tony Dodgins) has to make it plain in his column that he has nothing against "any man carrying a handbag, wearing lipstick, knickers, high heels".

Can I assume that Tony *does* understand that there is a difference between, in the first case, sexism and workplace harassment, and, in the second, a phobia of transvestism?

I would be happy if Autosport were to stop this column being used as a soap box for Tony to expand his dull and reactionary views.

#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 13:02

You could argue the intro bit was to setup the joke about the security at the gate. Yeah it's not motorsport themed but a lot of his columns start abstract and arrive at their destination. That said it does wander dangerously close to a Telegraph/Daily Mail whinge.

I thinkt he comment about men with handbags was more about not being seen as sexist that people have to live up to gender roles (ie women who know football rules) rather than transgender issues per se.

#9 Mat

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 00:24

You could argue the intro bit was to setup the joke about the security at the gate. Yeah it's not motorsport themed but a lot of his columns start abstract and arrive at their destination. That said it does wander dangerously close to a Telegraph/Daily Mail whinge.

I thinkt he comment about men with handbags was more about not being seen as sexist that people have to live up to gender roles (ie women who know football rules) rather than transgender issues per se.


He shouldn't be worried about setting up jokes if it takes half his column to do. As each week passes, his articles are turning into more content about his own experiences (which are rubbish) and less content about his own thoughts on F1.

It's like he is trying to copy Jackman's style from a few years back. But without the talent. Please stop him Autosport.

#10 scheivlak

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 23:31

He shouldn't be worried about setting up jokes if it takes half his column to do. As each week passes, his articles are turning into more content about his own experiences (which are rubbish) and less content about his own thoughts on F1.

It's like he is trying to copy Jackman's style from a few years back. But without the talent. Please stop him Autosport.


:up:

#11 tillster

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:45

Bored at work, I happened upon the latest Dodgins column, and it's a hum-dinger :rolleyes: I was not at all surprised to find this thread.

I can only assume that there are, in fact, Autosport readers who find this drivel entertaining, but it doesn't sit with any of the factors that have made me a happy subscriber for so long.

I'm happy to ignore the columns in the future, but nonetheless feel compelled to make a comment as I find the current article not so much coming up on the line thou shall not cross, as looking over it's shoulder as it sails into the distance.

Leave wit to Private Eye, and hyperbolic nonsense to the Clarkson’s of this world. People, surely, read Autosport for insight and opinion about the sport we love; facets which have been AWOL from Dodgins' columns for some time




#12 david_martin

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:12

Tony is back at re-writing history again, this time with the career of Adrian Newey:

Similarly Newey, a man of integrity, was deeply affected by Ayrton Senna's accident at Imola 17 years ago, when Adrian was technical director at Williams.


The first part of that sentence might well be correct, but the latter most certainly isn't. Adrian Newey was never technical director at Williams. He served as chief designer at Williams from 1990 until 1996, but Patrick Head was Williams Grand Prix Engineering technical director from the teams founding in 1977 until 2004 when he stepped aside in favour of Sam Michael.



#13 Madeup Name

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:21

Just a quick note to say Tony Doggins' latest column reads like so many (biased) contributions to "Racing Comments". Dull and vacuuous.

Journalism it isn't. It adds nothing that isn't known, there is no real analysis, it's just Doggins' shouting that he knows more about motor racing than the stewards.

#14 milestone 11

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 13:13

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good yarn, eh Dodgins? How on earth you remain employed is beyond understanding.

#15 kar

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 13:39

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good yarn, eh Dodgins? How on earth you remain employed is beyond understanding.


Vote with your wallet. I did.

#16 P123

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 19:04

Dodgins writes some good stuff, but unfortunately he also writes a lot of garbage too. Garbage which belongs more as a message on the Racing Comments forum rather than as a paid for article on Autosport Plus. His latest article is yet another that reads like a forum message and also contains inaccuracies (such as praising Massa's erroneous recollection of the incident). How about a more in depth look into stewarding decisions? There have been plenty of howlers, even just from this season.

#17 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 19:15

I can't bring myself to criticise anything Tony Dodgins writes as long as Lee McKenzie has 'articles'.