The other piece I recommend on the subject of a perceived increase of bought and paid for media is this from Scott Eldridge on The Conversation…
You only need to look to the news earlier this year, that The New York Times was adding to its in-house design staff to create native advertising and content, for a similar story of the blurring of distinctions between what is journalism and what is advertising.
As with Tuesday’s expose from Oborne, that the New York Times would consider such a move was met with surprise. With both the Telegraph and the New York Times, the idea that such legacy media brands would consider crossing this sacred line leads to a great deal of uneasiness over the extent to which newspapers would accede to advertiser demands, and questions over what audiences and readers can trust from these brands.
Which returns us to the worrying thought that we might only be hearing about these instances of corporate pressure and editorial influence because they are happening at legacy institutions in traditional news environments.
For as much as we can suggest that what Peter Oborne wrote in his resignation letter might be commonplace, we also only know of the instances he describes. Contrasting the minimal space for critical stories in the inside pages of the Telegraph with front-page splashes and major investigations in competing newspapers is tangible. It can be measured in ink and inches.
Hell may have no greater fury than a broadsheet spurned, but the new generation news websites is using a different formula to bind together it’s political and commercial interests… Interesting that China seems to play such a part both in the Oborne story and now the “outed” politicos.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty