Newspaper Content Is Advertising For More News Content

from the follow-this-through dept

I haven't had much time lately to add any new posts to my series of posts on how content is advertising, but a great post from Steve Yelvington is a perfect example of how this works in the news business. Yelvington refers to a blog post by Jay Rosen where he explains how listening to the radio show This American Life explaining the credit crunch (titled "The Giant Pool of Money" -- which, indeed is an excellent explanation) brought him up to speed on the story, and made him hunger for more news on that topic:
I noticed something in the weeks after I first listened to "The Giant Pool of Money." I became a customer for ongoing news about the mortgage mess and the credit crisis that developed from it. Previously I had skipped over such reports because I just didn't understand the story. Now I did. 'Twas was a successful act of explanation that put me in the market for information. Before that moment I had ignored hundreds of news reports about Americans losing their homes, the housing market crashing, banks in trouble.
In other words, the good content that made up the radio program advertised other news stories about that topic. At the same time, it helped advertise This American Life as a good source of information, and will certainly make Jay Rosen go back to that program in the future if they run similar "explain this big confusing mess" type programs. So, if you were a news organization, perhaps in the financial space, that wanted more and more people looking at your coverage of the credit crisis, wouldn't it make sense to help finance a popular radio program to do such a "layman's explanation" knowing that you'd make up the money in greater readership (and greater ad volume)? Once again, we see how good content is advertising -- though not in the way that people traditionally think of it.
Other posts in this series:



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 2:33pm

    Work

    But isn't creating good content usually a lot of work? It seems like it would just be easier to file lawsuits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    wendy fanne, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 2:54pm

    color me dense

    but, isn't that what newspapers themselves, are supposed to do--explain reasonably well and rationally all news items? maybe that pesky responsibility went the way of the tedious chore of having three, independent (if not named) sources. forgot to add in the lifeboat the art of editing and it's pal, unintended spellcheck consequences, jr.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    wendy fanne, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    better yet

    better yet, we could just call 1800fillinabluecollarsoundingnamelikegary, and HE will get the lawyer for us and we could then pay gary too. we could fix the whole economy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 8:00pm

    Some content is advertising

    Once again, we see how good content is advertising -- though not in the way that people traditionally think of it.

    In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    No matter how many times you use the word "advertising" as a generic term for content that promotes other content, that's just not what it means. It's not just about how "people traditionally think of it [advertising]". It's about the essential meaning of the word. Yes, content can act in a way similar to advertising by calling attention to other content, but the fact of the matter is that the word advertising implies two very specific things: 1) that the primary purpose of the content is calling attention to something and 2) that the content itself or its distribution was paid for by the party benefiting from the attention. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I think this is basically what most people think of when they hear the word "advertising". And this meaning is just not compatible with your "content is advertising and advertising is content" statements.

    The thing is, I actually find the TechDirt articles about how one form of content can promote other forms of content (and the effects thereof) very interesting. But I have to admit that I keep on getting hung up on that word. It just seems like using the word "advertising" like you do flies in the face of common sense and does your overall argument a disservice. I've already used this line before on the same topic, but saying "content is advertising and advertising is content" is like saying that red and blue are the same thing because they're both on the color spectrum.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 7th, 2008 @ 1:12am

    Re: Some content is advertising

    No matter how many times you use the word "advertising" as a generic term for content that promotes other content, that's just not what it means. It's not just about how "people traditionally think of it [advertising]". It's about the essential meaning of the word. Yes, content can act in a way similar to advertising by calling attention to other content, but the fact of the matter is that the word advertising implies two very specific things: 1) that the primary purpose of the content is calling attention to something and 2) that the content itself or its distribution was paid for by the party benefiting from the attention.

    Yes. But that's the point. The person benefiting from the attention needs to pay for it. That's how everyone should be thinking about these things -- because the old model isn't sustainable if you don't think that way.


    The thing is, I actually find the TechDirt articles about how one form of content can promote other forms of content (and the effects thereof) very interesting. But I have to admit that I keep on getting hung up on that word. It just seems like using the word "advertising" like you do flies in the face of common sense and does your overall argument a disservice.


    I'm trying to get people to shift their thinking on this subject, and the only way to do that is for them to recognize that the lines have blurred beyond recognition and that's NOT a bad thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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