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.