On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to open up the "white spaces" on the television spectrum that will be available when the U.S. switches from analog to all-digital in February 2009.
"'Brand integration' and 'immersive' commercial environments" are becoming more commonplace, as the range of media formats and platforms widens and viewers can increasingly avoid commercials, reports Gloria Goodale. This "blurring of story and selling" goes beyond traditional product placement.
"Newspapers are in trouble for reasons that have almost nothing to do with newspaper journalism," writes Paul Farhi. "Even a paper stocked with the world's finest editorial minds wouldn't have a fighting chance against the economic and technological forces arrayed against the business." Farhi says newspapers "remain remarkably popular" but suffer from "the flight of classified advertisers, the deterioration of retail advertising and the indebtedness of newspaper owners." The Internet, he maintains, has expanded newspaper readership while sapping "newspapers' economic lifeblood.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the public has "a dimmer view of the pharmaceutical industry than they do of the advertising / public relations sector, if you can imagine such a thing," writes Mark Dolliver.
If there's a questionable opinion column promoting a corporate viewpoint, chances are the secretive Washington DC public affairs firm LMG -- also known as LawMedia Group -- is involved. As the Center for Media and Democracy reported previously, LMG helped place a column attributed to the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he didn't write and which criticized some SCLC donors.
Over at Congresspedia, we’re starting to track the members of Congress who are using Twitter, a micro-blogging site consisting of posts of 140 characters or less (it makes more sense once you spend some time there, really). We’ve compiled a list of 30 members thus far, and if you go to their Congresspedia profile page you can read their latest posts – we’ve built them right into the contact section.
According to a survey of 252 U.S. chief marketing officers, nearly one in five "say their organizations have bought advertising in return for a news story." The survey was conducted on behalf of the public relations firm Manning, Selvage & Lee (MSL) and the trade publication PR Week (which doesn't appear to have reported on the results).
When China submitted its bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised that journalists would have "complete freedom to report" from the country. However, "sites such as Amnesty International or any search for a site with Tibet in the address could not be opened at the Main Press Center [in Beijing], which will house about 5,000 print journalists when the games open Aug.