Ads Disguised as News Columns

Should the LA Times have run an ad designed to look like a regular news column on its front page? (The ad was for an NBC news show Southland.) Critics, who include quite a few of the paper's own staffers, argue that it crossed a line of journalistic integrity. The paper's defenders point out that all newspapers are losing money nowadays, so whether you like it or not, expect to see more ads disguised as news columns in the future. [Editors Weblog]

Advertising Journalism

Posted on Mon Apr 13, 2009


"crossed a line of journalistic integrity"? This is the LA Times, which has never been able to spell "journalistic integrity," much less possess any.
Posted by Terry Austin  on  Mon Apr 13, 2009  at  10:03 AM
...This isn't really something new...the format is slightly different, but I see "news" articles in many magazines that you only know are adverts b/c of the tiny "advertisement" at the bottom of the page.
Posted by Maegan  on  Mon Apr 13, 2009  at  11:49 AM
Like Maegan says, not exactly new. Newspapers have been running "ads" like this for years, ranging from single column to full page ones.

This is an easy one to spot--it's got a (color!) corporate logo at the top, the font is different than the regular paper, and it says "advertisement" in pretty large letters.

On the front page? Well, it annoys me, but if they can charge extra for front page placement, go for it. Newspapers make money by selling ads, not by reporting news.
Posted by Robert G.  on  Mon Apr 13, 2009  at  12:29 PM
MY question is how does the media get away with that "news" they put next to the ads?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Apr 13, 2009  at  05:37 PM
CMG said exactly what I was thinking.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Tue Apr 14, 2009  at  10:48 AM
I can't spell jounallistic... so it's most likely OK.
Posted by Joel B1  on  Wed Apr 15, 2009  at  12:57 AM
I saw something like this in our newspaper yesterday. Some cash for gold store wrote an article about itself, complete with quotes from customerss.
Posted by Sakano  on  Fri Apr 17, 2009  at  05:03 PM
. . . And if a Teelvision news show is taking this up as a cause, then the irony is practically metres deep - What else do you call this but the print version of the Infomercial or Advertorisl spot on daytime shows?
Posted by D F Stuckey  on  Tue Apr 21, 2009  at  06:05 PM
just a test
Posted by test  on  Wed Apr 29, 2009  at  08:22 AM
The local paper in my area does it all the time and I've seen a few examples in the Metro, so it's not exactly uncommon. That doen't make it ethical though...
Posted by DH  on  Thu May 21, 2009  at  12:40 PM
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