The journalist as shill

Presentationaaaaaaqa3Have you ever received an unsolicited e-mail from Frank Rich of The New York Times or Dana Mattioli of The Wall Street Journal? If you have, were either pitching you to sign-up for a Times-sponsored webinar or encouraging you to buy tables at a Journal awards dinner?

I ask because my in-box is besieged with such sales pitches from the editors and reporters of our industry’s trade publications.

I find such spam troubling for several reasons:

– Journalists are trained, and hired, to report the news and not to fill the coffers of media properties (Think: separation of church and state).

– Were these journalists reporting on, say, the automotive aftermarket, I’d turn a blind eye. But, these representatives of the Fourth Estate cover PR, a field that prides itself on full transparency and editorial integrity.

Yet, no one publicly decries the spam because, frankly, CCOs and agency leaders alike depend upon these very same journalists for favorable coverage and awarding awards.If the industry trades ever hope to command more respect, I suggest their editorial sides spend more time covering the news and less on hawking products.



6 thoughts on “The journalist as shill

  1. At least they didn’t breathlessly label this “Breaking News!” Clearly a lack of editorial rigor at work.