After Hill & Knowlton contacted community newspaper editors on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores informing them "Wal-Mart representatives were available for interviews," Mike Buffington, the president of the National Newspaper Association (NMA), let fly. "So why is it that community newspapers in America are good enough to help you fend off critics with free PR, but we're not good enough for your paid advertising? You can't have it both ways," Buffington wrote to Wal-Mart. In a column in the NMA newsletter Publishers Auxiliary, Buffington, who is also a publisher of community papers in Georgia, complained that a side-effect of Wal-Mart undercutting local small business was that "advertising dollars disappear from community newspapers." The Business Ledger notes that Buffington's comments have attracted some criticism for implying "a 'you pay or we don’t cover you' attitude."
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