Sponsored Content Watch

TNR-sponsored-content

A reader sends the above screenshot:

Perhaps this has already become the style at other prestigious media outlets, but I think it’s somewhat remarkable that the editors at The New Republic didn’t see fit to tell readers upfront that the article is sponsored content. (I apologize if I’m late to the party on this particular advertorial start on the part of TNR.) There’s no real differences in terms of front style or size with the only real tip-off being the lack of a byline. But I’ve interacted with enough smart people online to know how rarely readers, who aren’t themselves writers in some capacity, actually pay attention to, much less search for, the author to an article.

The sponsored status of the “article” is a little more obvious on the front-page:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 2.51.19 PM

Previously noted examples here of the ever-growing scourge of sponsored content. Update from a reader:

If you think things are weird on the journalism side, try going toward entertainment. New companies are trying deliberately to muddy the waters.