Newspaper Proudly Announces It Will Only Cover Political Candidates Who Buy Ads

from the fair-and-balanced dept

There's been a lot of talk lately about claims that blogs are somehow posting stories without revealing if companies are paying for them, and even the FTC has announced plans to come out with guidelines to stop such behavior. But, of course, that assumes that it's only "blogs" that do this sort of thing, and not the mainstream press. And, to be honest, I can't think of a dumber thing for a blog to do, because if evidence of such a thing ever came out, it would destroy that blog's credibility. Yet, apparently, some in the newspaper business have no problems overtly and proudly advertising such things. A whole bunch of folks have submitted the story of a weekly newspaper in Key West Florida that alerted local political candidates that if they want coverage, they need to buy ads:
"As far as candidate forums and debates, we'll cover those when we can, but if candidates want their campaign covered, they have to pay to play.... I gotta pay the bills."
While a bit shocking in its honesty, it also should raise pretty serious questions about the credibility of the publication, which promises "fair reporting and fair representation." Though, given that it looks like the Conch Color website was designed in 1996 (yes, it has a clip art animated spinning globe -- and I'm almost surprised there's no animated "under construction" gifs), perhaps its credibility was already in question.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Thomas (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Are we sure ..

    That's not a parody site? Click through to some of the "Photographic Chronicle"-ing of Florida life. It's kind of funny. Especially the out of focus shots.
    "I gotta pay the bills."??? The website is 80% ads ..

     

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

  2.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Excellent idea!

    Maybe this site (spoof or no) is ahead of everyone else on political reform. To date, political media coverage has been a strictly closed market -- insiders only.

    What they propose may be the first mechanism for a non-tool (non-Dem, non-Rep) to get coverage for their campaign from a traditional news outlet.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Excellent idea!

    So then you would be fine if a blog did this sort of thing?

     

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

  4.  
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    Danny (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    This is not a big deal; move along here

    They aren't saying that ad payments will result in editorial content. What they are saying is that they aren't going to invest (much) money in editorial content, so if candidates want to get their names out there, they have to buy advertising to do it.

    While this may not be a great journalism advancing the usefulness of this weekly paper to its community, there is nothing ethically wrong in deciding not to cover a particular type of news.

     

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

  5.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Websense blocks that site identifying it as an 'alternative journal'. Credibility stops right about......there.

     

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  6.  
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    GJ (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    put it another way

    If you, as a local candidate don't take out an ad in a local newspaper, you're probably not much of a viable candidate.

     

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

  7.  
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    Sallo (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Look at me, look at me!!!

    Maybe it is just a self promoting stunt to get people to the site. After all, didn't we all go and look?

     

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

  8.  
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    Redphantasm (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 3:25pm

    Sky blue, flower pink, and lavender. Screw the bills, they need to pay their IT department.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    We are talking about the conch color here.

    http://www.conchcolor.com/

    I frankly don't care how corrupt this guy is or isn't.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Bruce Partington, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    What about BoingBoing

    BoingBoing runs ads as stories all the time with zero disclosure, and it's one of the most prominent blogs out there.

    They seem a little insecure about it, too.

     

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

  11.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 5:28pm

    Re: What about BoingBoing

    BoingBoing runs ads as stories all the time with zero disclosure, and it's one of the most prominent blogs out there.

    I've never heard of that or seen any evidence of it.

    Got any?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    What do you expect, it is Florida

     

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  13.  
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    John Doe, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 4:00am

    How is this a surprise?

    Doesn't it bother anyone that newspapers endorse candidates? How are they supposed to be unbiased when they actually endorse someone?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    that maybe you school, workplace, or government's opinion and not WebSense. WS is customizable.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Kamagra Gel, Nov 1st, 2010 @ 6:58am

    I'm agree with that because even they are promoting government publicity they need to be fair and if they do a bad campaign probably their government won't work very well in the future. Generic Viagra

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Kamagra, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 4:47am

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


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