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Blurring the editorial/advertising line

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WildBillyCrazyCat, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Saw this move the other day, and am surprised it hasn't shown up here yet.

    The Philly Inquirer is going to have advertisers sponsoring a business column. Sounds like the line between editorial and advertising isn't only blurred, but removed all together.

    Another sad day for our industry when a once-great paper sinks to this practice.

    2007 New York Times News Service

    PHILADELPHIA -- Starting next week, The Philadelphia Inquirer will run a new column called PhillyInc., written by Inquirer reporters and editors, on the first page of its business section.

    What is unusual is that the column will be sponsored by a local advertiser, Citizens Bank. It will carry the bank’s logo and be outlined in the bank’s distinctive green ink. The bank will also run ads across the bottom of the page and in an upper corner.

    Many newspapers are losing advertising revenue these days and have taken steps that they might not have taken when times were flush. But at The Inquirer, everything -- even a joint venture with an advertiser that in other times might have raised questions about editorial integrity -- is being rethought.

    The sponsored column is part of the new world here as Brian P. Tierney, a local advertising executive, settles in as the paper’s hands-on publisher and promoter in chief for what has become a grand experiment in private local ownership of a major metropolitan daily.

    It is being closely watched in the newspaper industry -- still made up mostly of public companies -- where the Tribune Co., owner of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday, is going private and others are considering such moves, to get away from the harsh, disapproving glare of Wall Street. And it is being watched by journalists to see whether a once-great newspaper with scaled-back ambitions can still fly.
  2. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    This day, sadly, isn't too far off:

    The Wells Fargo Bank Business section presenting...
    The Citizens Bank's PhillyInc. column...
    Researched by Wikipedia...
    Featuring words and phrases from Merriam-Webster...
    With this 12" leg of type brought to you by Dr. Biggums penile enlargement.

    By Plees Takemeserious
    Philadelphia Inquirer
  3. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Happens a lot at smalltime radio stations However, when it does, it's not like Igor's IRA Investment group is talking about business for an hour, but just chiming in with advice while the talk show content covers politics or whatever.

    Not sure this should be in the business section, when sponsored by a big business type group. Then again the Wash Post is putting banner ads at the bottom of the front page of the sports section in the dead tree edition now.
  4. somewriter

    somewriter Member

    Here is a link to the entire article:


    The paper also says circulation is up (very) modestly, 0.6%, over the last six months and that ad revenue is improving. If true, that is surprising good news for the industry.
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Wasn't there a thread about six months ago about a newspaper in Florida sending reporters with sales people on sales calls; where the story wouldn't run if the sales person couldn't find an "ad sponsor" for the story?
  6. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    The college writer at my paper has proposed finding a sponsor for coverage. The paper won't pay for him to go on road trips, so he writes from the radio broadcast (and if he's lucky, the coach will call). This is his grand scheme, just like the aforementioned business column, to place the sponsor's logo right in the story text. He sees it as no different from how radio has sponsorships to cover road games.
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