Journalists Writing Promotional Articles
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Reality shows like Survivor blur the line between TV drama (or even TV documentary) and real life. Same with the cop shows and kitchen shows. It’s all a set-up for the camera, and that’s not reality. Journalists writing promotional articles is not unusual now, in fact it has become a trend, and it strikes me the same way as the TV shows – not reality at all.
I’m not saying it is wrong of course. Journalists have never been highly paid by newspapers and online news sources, and it’s even harder to make money now that so many people are willing to write for free in order to get major exposure.
What I’m saying is that journalists who are hired to write articles sponsored by a business cannot possibly be unbiased. They MUST be biased in order to achieve the goal of their employers. That is exactly what they are hired to do – promote a brand or a business in their articles.
This trend offers more money and opportunity to journalists, which is great. They deserve it. But what does it do for the reader? Does it engender trust and reliability?
Giselle Abramovich posted the following commentary on Digiday:
“The rise in demand for branded content means brands hire seasoned journalists as ‘corporate reporters,’ who work inside the company and produce media like blog posts, videos, webinars and more. It certainly isn’t exactly the work of “speaking truth to power,” but times are tough in the media world.
Brands are realizing, to a degree, that if they truly want to be publishers they can’t just have people churning out corporate boilerplate. They’re loosening the reins a bit in a bid to attract actual reporters.”
It’s something to consider when we’re researching and writing our information marketing content.