Thursday, December 9, 2010

Allegedly Ethical

Chelsea Handler, The View and a bevy of other television shows have recently landed on a disturbing habit: Using the term "allegedly" simply to cover their bases.

This is my point: When someone watches any of these shows and hears a celebrity is "allegedly" this or that, people will start to tune it out.  Allegedly is no longer used on television to make sure that nothing is proven, it is used to make sure they don't run into a lawsuit. 

Don't get me wrong, I love Chelsea Handler and all of those celebrity talk shows, but I recently ran into another clip from the View in which they are discussing the sexuality of church ministers and used the term allegedly as an afterthought.  After stating "And he is gay," Whoopie Goldberg later emphasized "allegedly," more or less defeating the purpose of the word.

So be ethical and make sure people know that "allegedly" needs to be used ethically.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Journalism needs to market itself

I went out and found a couple articles discussing what the journalism industry can do to better market itself to consumers.  Read the articles and check out my summary, let me know what you think!

     The article describes the importance of using social media and enabling user-created content for newspaper websites, and how doing so has proven to be a powerful market awareness tool.  One website, used as an example in the article, which has seen website traffic "rise 15 to 20 percent," an impressive statistic noting the current decline of newspaper profits.  When a newspaper receives more traffic, advertisers are more likely to place ads in the paper, thus adding incoming cash flows. 
     In class, we discussed the importance of market recognition and how, generally, more recognition is better.  Say, for instance, that The New York Times online implemented a social-media section, and the name was to grow in popularity among the "facebook users," the company would be more highly recognized and it is likely that newspaper sales could increase as an effect.

     The Internet if full of news websites.  So full, in fact, that creating a serious segment of penetration within the online news market is extremely difficult.  According to this article, however, it is easier for established newspapers to grab hold of online readers, and the increase in market penetration has helped awareness among readers.
     Market penetration, as discussed in marketing classes, is achieved primarily through more aggressive marketing mixes, which is what many newspapers are doing by changing the place distribution methods of their articles (moving online) as well as price decision changes (giving news away for free).

     This article states the main point that a newspapers target group “feels it simply can’t live without a newspaper.”  And this is true, but the definition of newspaper is changing.  A newspaper without an online source for video and audio doomed to fall behind the rapidly evolving industry. 
     To me, this represents a blend of market penetration as well as market development.  While the newspaper industry is looking to involve a more diverse, new market, they are trying to pay attention to the core consumers who drive the industry and incorporate them into a new marketing strategy.

     While newspapers are lacking in ad revenue, it is still important for companies advertising in these outlets to reach their consumers.  An ad for Chrysler ran in an Canadian newspaper promoting a discount for Chrysler employees, but the deal was actually available to any customer.  Many found this to be “convoluted” and misleading, which a company is never looking for.
     This is an example of the importance of defining marketing strategies for new promotions.  Why would a company advertise that a sale if available for a select few when it could be more successful advertising to the whole applicable consumer group?

     Advertorials have become a common occurrence in today’s magazine media.  Advertorials are ads that run almost incognito as an article written by authors of the publication.  These ads, however, are written by the company being advertised.  The ethical implications of such issues are obvious.  The article states, however, that these ads are less intrusive on the reader, and therefore positive for magazines.  For this reason, many companies are leaving the burden of the ad for the publication due to the intense need for ad revenue.
     In class we discussed the ethics of advertorials.  I agree with this article in that advertorials are a good way for a company to reach a target audience, but leaving the burden of advertising on publications raises serious journalistic ethics questions.  Should advertising and promotion be combined with truthfulness and honesty?  Many think it is an impossibility.

US to hold Press Freedom Day in 2011 after praising England's arrest of Wikileaks president


Bittersweet, it would seem, that the US was selected by the United Nations to host next year's annual Press Freedom Day during one of the most polarized press freedom discussions in recent history.

Founder of the website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, was arrested in England and jailed, according to an article in The Daily Caller, due to sexual assault charges and a warrant issued by Swedish authorities.  We all know, however, of the recent allegations against Assange and the fears that he is committing espionage by releasing classified information.

A CBS News article noted Sen. Joe Lieberman as taking a drastic stand: if wikileaks broke espionage law, so has the New York Times.  Now we have a problem.

Where is the line?  The New York Times has had a solid reputation throughout its existence and has even admittedly held stories from the paper in order to protect US citizens.  Wikileaks, however is nothing more than a blog ran by a guy who is way to into his own power and far too willing to endanger the United States.  Wikileaks is not news, it is not press, it is simply vanity.

In the short of it, do not pull the New York Times into a serious espionage investigation.  It simply does not make sense.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Josh McDaniels and The Internet

It's no question that now ex-head coach of the Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels, made recent mistakes, including the taping of previous games and what many have called poor sportsmanship. Because of this, fans called for his resignation, holding signs at games encouraging the investors to fire the coach.

This evening, McDaniels was officially fired, and the response was mixed.  Some said it was about time, others were shocked that the team decided to make such a costly financial decision.  But the most impressive thing about this story is the speed at which the news spread.

Within 30 minutes of the ESPN story being posted on the website, the term "McDaniels" was trending worldwide on Twitter and a facebook post on the Denver Broncos profile had reached over 2,000 "likes."  It is becoming apparent that if you are logged on to the internet, you are likely to run into a breaking news story that will may become huge news the next day.