The Guise of Objectivity Is Bad for Business

The newspaper business is hurting. But an answer to their pain could be right under their editors’ noses.
Look at this passage from Forbes:

More than 15 years into the Web revolution, many papers remain hampered by insufficient communication between the editors and writers generating content and those on the business side charged with selling it to advertisers.
“From the genesis of an idea, both sides have to be at the table,” says John Kelly, vice president of advertising for The Palm Beach Post in Palm Beach, Fla. “We all have to realize that we’re on the same team. We haven’t developed that trust.”
With good reason, many editors would argue. Newsrooms have long cultivated a strict “church-state” division between themselves and their papers’ advertising departments, fearing a loss of independence and integrity–and with it the trust of readers.

I admit I like the quaint nature of editorial independence, but I think its time for a new concept to take root. As a copywriter it’s so easy to see that one is working to sell “the story,” whatever story it may be. Journalists, of course, do not think like that. If they wanted to sell, they would have gone into real estate, stock and bonds or advertising.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.