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LA Times runs ad as fake news story

LA Times runs ad as fake news story

The Los Angeles Times faces criticism for running a front page ad today disguised as a news column. The advertisement for NBC's news show "Southland" is printed in the lower left column under the headline "Southland's Rookie Hero." Though the top of the column is labeled "Advertisement," the paper has never before printed a front page ad, and the mock news story aspect of the ad in particular generates controversy.

There is debate as to whether the LA Times went too far, sacrificing its journalistic integrity to generate advertising revenue. According to the New York Times, president of entertainment marketing for NBC Adam Stotsky, defended the advertisement, saying the paper did not intend to fool readers and pointing out that the ad font differs from the front page font and includes the NBC logo. "I think most consumers will recognize that this is an ad," he said.

Staffers at the LA Times disagree, however and a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."

LA Times sympathizers can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe that as a result the paper forfeits its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement a financially justifiable necessary evil, an "innovative approach" to advertising, or a stunt that breaks the trust between the reader and the newspaper?
sakdfaksdfhStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachvStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachStaffers at the LA Times disagree, however, and according to Poynter Romanesko, a petition against the ad circulated around its newsroom this morning. "The NBC ad may have provided some quick cash, but it has caused incalculable damage to this institution," the petition says. "This action violates a 128-year pact with our readers that the front page is reserved for the most meaningful stories of the day. Placing a fake news article on A-1 makes a mockery of our integrity and our journalistic standards."

Because of dropping ad revenues, many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA, and the New York Times, have resorted to front-page ads in an effort to attract advertisers. In his article for All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says that front-page ads are no longer controversial considering the newspaper industry's financial troubles. "Now it's just inevitable," he says, "especially given that Tribune Co., the LAT's corporate parent, has already filed for Chapter 11."

Though the LA Times claims the ad is an "innovative approach" to advertising "designed to stretch traditional boundaries," critics say the LA Times stooped too low by not just running a front-page ad, but by trying to disguise it as editorial content. A member of the editorial staff told Reuters, "It blurs the line between paid content and content that our reporters are producing."
Some can justify the blurring of the lines, arguing that "desperate times call for desperate measures." How desperate is the newspaper industry, and how far is too far? Guardian critic Dan Kennedy suggests that it might be better for a newspaper to sell this valuable ad space to generate revenue than to make sacrifices and cutbacks in other areas, but others believe the paper then sacrifices its credibility. Was the LA Times advertisement an innocent "innovative approachsdfsadfasdfsadf


Links

Author

Caroline Huber

Date

2009-04-09 17:58

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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