Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Front Page Adline

It seems as though these days one can't go anywhere without seeing an advertisement for something. Most companies depend on advertisements in order to function, including the newspaper business. Increasingly, though, these ads have begun to show up on the front page. Bob Steele of Poynter Online described the quest for profit in newspapers as risky business when the ads have hit the front page.
"Journalism has a very special responsibility in our society. The journalism -- both in process and product -- should be protected from out-of-proportion commercial interests. If we are to keep moving toward more advertising content that competes with the premium news space, we must make sure the journalism does not suffer."
I understand that newspapers are receiving more and more pressure to increase profit margins, but the overall function on the newspaper should not suffer. The front page is meant for the most important news, not for the company that's willing to shell out the most money.
"Simply put, a news organization won't have a strong journalism product unless the business side is healthy."
I recognize that profit is an essential part of any business, but the newspapers' focus should be on their responsibility to the public, not necessarily the shareholders. I'm getting sick of seeing the front page advertisements taking the space where the headlines about Darfur should be.


At 8:58 PM, Blogger Brian Steffen said...

Hmmm... After today's discussion in class about why it is that the news biz's reliance on celebrity news is bad ethics, and why it is that phony "astroturf" blogs about the PS3 also are suspect, Nicole may be on to something here in articulating a philosophy of journalism. Let's see if we can get at it on Thursday. Before then... Anyone wanna take a stab at a philosophy of journalism?



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