Apr 10 2009

Selling out for free

Category: mediaharmonicminer @ 10:08 am

Uproar over ‘news story’ ad on front page of LA Times

An advertisement dressed up as a news story on the front page of the Los Angeles Times has reporters at the newspaper fuming and the publisher defending the move.

The advertisement, for the NBC television series “Southland,” appeared on page one of the Times on Thursday. Although it was labelled “advertisement,” the ad resembled a news story complete with a bold-type headline.

According to the blog MediaMemo, more than 100 staffers at the newspaper signed a petition protesting the appearance of the fake news story ad on the front page.

“We the journalists of the newsroom strenuously object to the decision to sell an ad, in the form of a phony news story, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times,” mediamemo.allthingsd.com quoted the petition as saying.

“The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution,” it said. “Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards.

“Our willingness to sell our most precious real estate to an advertiser is embarrassing and demoralizing,” the petition said.

I guess the LATimes’ “journalists” have a problem not so much with selling out as making a profit for it, judging from their behavior in the last election cycle, in which the front page was repeatedly used for unpaid campaign ads for Obama.

Apparently they didn’t find that “embarrassing and demoralizing.”

A “mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards,” indeed.


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