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journalistic integrity at weeklies?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Peytons place, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Peytons place

    Peytons place Member

    I freind of mine recently started working at a weekly, suburban newspaper and said the paper commonly sells articles. They also will do articles on businesses, people, etc., if that person/business buys ads for the paper. Personally, I'm a little put off by this as I have always thought it was important not to let advertisers dictate newspaper content. And selling articles, written as actual newspaper articles, bothers me. Am I alone on this? Is this common practice at a weekly? I know there may be a different standard because it's a community paper and there are pictures of little league players and freelance columns about gardens, but they also try to do real news stories as well. Anyone ever come across this kind of thing before?
     
  2. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    Not at my weekly.

    Of course we barely sell any ads anyway so maybe we should try it. Really though, we don't do any of that crap. We have the garden column, the local-guy movie reviews and the old-lady report from the nursing home (talk about a space-killer). We also have plenty of "Jimbo goes to Podunk Junior College to play ping pong" and "Timmy's team got 5th in the baseball tourney" photos.

    But we don't sell articles and I've never heard of anyone writing something a certain way or doing something to please an advertiser.
     
  3. Tierra

    Tierra New Member

    When an ad rep thinks s/he's got a good lead on a story, s/he goes to the ad department head, who takes the ad rep's name off the e-mail and tells us we should cover it.. IF we find it interesting. There's been no pressure at all to "get a story in."

    If ad reps need our help to sell ads, then they need to find a new job.

    Now, if I assign a story on a significant business coming to my area, and a couple weeks later I see a half-page ad by them on my dummies, I'm not going to complain. But I'm not assigning those to get advertising, I'm assigning those because they're noteworthy.
     
  4. JR

    JR Active Member

    Bingo.

    I worked on a high end gardening magazine in one of my former lives and editorial wouldn't even tell the sales people the content of the upcoming issue. We sold the magazine on its quality. Never a problem.

    BTW, selling ad space in a magazine is boring as batshit.
     
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