The Rise of 'Newsvertisements'

"Don't you love local TV news stories about critical topics like Supernanny, The Apprentice or Survivor?" Cause Communications' Jason Salzman asks in his Rocky Mountain News column. Salzman lists several examples of stories produced by Denver's local TV news programs and finds that most of the stories focused on entertainment programming run by the stations' respective networks. "I think what's more obvious is that journalists at local outlets should give their news judgment an extreme makeover and drop most entertainment news tie- ins," Salzman writes. "[I]f the local TV outlets insist on broadcasting 'news' about entertainment programming, they should inform viewers when they have a financial interest in the success of the show mentioned. Without proper disclosure, these local stories should be seen by viewers as advertisements embedded in the newscasts. I can't decide whether to call them 'advernewsments' or 'newsvertisements.'"



Once again we're being given, unfortunately, what we want -- more and more entertainment news rather than news about more important issues. Look across the dial and that's what Americans want today. As for disclosing their "financial interest," that seems kind of silly in this case. The stations are pretty clear in pointing out that the shows air on their stations -- they even give the date and time. It's such obvious promotion that a disclosure would add nothing. There are bigger issues here.