Dallas News Decides That Journalists Should Report To Ad Sales

from the church-and-state-is-soooo-last-millennium dept

John Obeidin points us to the news that The Dallas News has basically wiped away the standard "church" and "state" separation of journalists and ad sales and has reorganized such that editorial and journalism positions now report to ad sales managers (nicely renamed "general managers"). Of course, historically, newspapers have always been clear to separate the two. There's no reason why this needs to be the case, but it can certainly raise questions about the objectivity of the reporting.

Of course, it's interesting that this is happening just days after those new FTC guidelines on making it clear if content is somehow sponsored. So, will the Dallas News now need to be more clear about its advertising partners, since the paper is now admitting that its editorial content will now be closely tied to its advertising relationships?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    I makes me wonder who NBC news personnel (content providers) will report to when Comcast (content distributors / advertisers) gets a hold of them. Chilling...

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Perhaps they are just doing the safest thing, in that the ad managers can check to make sure there are no conflicts of interest not mentioned.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    I've always felt the "separation" between the two is largely false anyhow. I'd rather see a company who stands behind the products it advertises rather than the usual claim of no responsibility. Free credit reports and fatblockers and male enhancement are almost always scams, and companies hide behind this wall to defend why they air these ads.

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

  4. identicon
    Johnny Canada, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    For once an honest newspaper.

    Not honest with the facts, but honest on where they stand.

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

  5. icon
    mike42 (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    Cost-cutting manuever

    I did some contract work there, and I would bet dollar-to-donut that this is a cost-cutting scheme. The fat bankrolls are long gone! Cue-Cat, anyone?

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

  6. identicon
    Ron, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Nothing New

    My understanding is that most papers have always had strong ties between the advertising sales and editorial in the special sections like autos. The dealers ran ads and expected good reviews on the new cars. At least the "journalists" had fun test-driving the new cars even if they did have to pay homage to the real money makers.

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

  7. identicon
    matt, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:43pm

    local insight

    As a dallas subscriber one only has to look at the subscription rates to see the issue. Renewal rates for the Dallas Morning News went WAY up. A result of both declining subscribership and increased cost. So I agree w/ Mike42 & Ron.

    That being said, "health/education, entertainment, travel/luxury, automotive, real estate, communications, preprints/grocery, recruitment, retail/finance, and SMB (small and medium businesses)/interactive" (the sections quoted in editorandpublisher.com's article) are mostly ads anyway!

    Real estate? Ads for used homes (Realtor ads) and ads for new subdivisions.

    Preprints/grocery? Those are just ads

    Recruitment? Aren't these just help wanted ads?

    Retail/finance? I assume they mean ad-driven content, not the business page.

    Automotive? These have been ads for years.

    So I fail to see the controversy. All of these sections are either already almost entirely ads or are sections that really drive sales of the paper (for example the entertainment section).

    It doesn't seem like they're having their local/national news reporters, business writers or anyone like that report to ad men (and women).

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

  8. identicon
    cj, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    You have got to be kidding me

    This is insane. There is no earthly reason that these 2 departments should come together, other than to make additions to bylines that there may be a conflict of interest.

    I think this just goes to show where most of the US mentality is. They're all lying to us, so who cares, seems to be the answer everyone is giving.

    I'd rather have no news than falsified information.

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

  9. identicon
    meh, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    Well - it is Texas after all.

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

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