Analysis and Commentary

Editorial – why we don’t run paid news disguised as editorial

Analysis and Commentary

EDITORIAL – by the editors, @AuManufacturing news

There is a lot of concern in the community about the declining quality of the media in Australia, but what is being seen in the reporting of national affairs is nothing compared to what has happened to specialist press such as industry news.

Hardly a week goes by when we are interviewing someone for a story when they ask the question: ‘how much is it going to cost for you to run the story?’

It is sad but manufacturers and their suppliers and partners have grown used to the fact that to get a story into many of our competitor publications you have to pay.

It is all too common now for most of the ‘news’ stories you read in our competitors not to be genuine editorial at all – stories only appear because someone has paid for them to do so.

That is, a vendor with something to sell has paid to get their message across to you the reader, rather than an editor selecting stories the old fashioned way on the basis of their news value.

In fact a few years ago our biggest competitor, we won’t mention the organisation’s name, had a target of 80 per cent paid content and 20 per cent free. Who knows what their target is today.

This is the era of advertisements masquerading as journalism.

So the question we get from public relations staff is all too often ‘is this story paid or earned?’

In the doublespeak of today, earned means an actual news story, and paid means, well an advertisement.

Here at @AuManufacturing we only run editorial because we judge it has merit and value to our manufacturer readers.

If money changes hands with @AuManufacturing we label an item accordingly.

At @AuManufacturing we learned our trade in the great era of journalism and our editors have more than seven decades of experience and were leaders of our greatest media – The Age, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and BRW magazine.

We have a passion for journalism.

Today we restate our policy which we have adhered to for the past two years, one which you can trust.

If you read a story in @AuManufacturing it is because we judge it is worth reading and potentially has value to you.

And if money has changed hands, we will label an item as ‘advertising’ or as an ‘advertising feature’.

– Peter Roberts and Brent Balinski

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