According to the New York Times and the Poynter Institute, The Daily News is violating hallowed ground by running ads on their front page, a place typically reserved for editorial.
Newspapers have long sold their back pages to advertisers. But the front page, a paper’s most valuable real estate, generally has been considered sacred.
Last week, The Daily News in New York ran full-page ads in some copies that were, in effect, the front page. On Wednesday, it ran front and back full-page ads for Mazda and on Friday for Toyota, and there was no second, or “real,” front page inside.
The words “sponsored copy” appeared in tiny type at the top.
“To give the whole front page away seems to me a dangerous message to send to readers,” said Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. “The front page is for the news you consider most important to the community.”
I hear the nay-sayers, but when you see what’s on the front of some tabloids now, I don’t know that the concept of “sacred space” has any merit whatsoever.