A SF Examiner restaurant reporter’s job is to bring in ads. On the surface, this may not seem like too bad an idea. The problem is the Examiner was trading good reviews for the ads:
From ‘Grade the News’
George Habit’s food columns are presented as news, but they’re really ad solicitations, reports John McManus. Habit tells him: “Yes, I use the column as an initiative to get advertisers to run an ad. The paper gives me a free rein.” After being asked about the practice, Examiner executive editor Vivienne Sosnowski said she’d label the columns as advertisements from now on.
“We do favor the accounts that are advertisers,” he explained. “Even if the food is no good, the atmosphere is good. You can always find nice things to say about a restaurant.”
Mr. Habit said he occasionally writes about restaurants where he has no hope of selling an ad. “I do that to have the pages look more ethical,” he said.
Is this right? Do you believe a newspaper has the right to do this? Read the article here and feel free to comment: Grade the News.com
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