CNN To Be Paid By Corporations To Create News

| Educate!

CNN Calls It New Advertorial “News” Courageous, More Accurately Called Unethical

CNN has announced the formation of a new unit that will not report the news. Instead, it will take money from corporations to produce content that resembles news but is actually PR designed to burnish its clients’ images.

The name CNN gives to this mercenary enterprise? “Courageous.”

It’s hard to see what’s particularly courageous about CNN‘s move, even if you see the destruction of journalistic boundaries as a heroic struggle. As a report about CNN‘s foray into “news-like content on behalf of advertisers” on a Wall Street Journal marketing blog (6/8/15) notes, “news companies from theNew York Times to BuzzFeed to the Wall Street Journal have units that create advertiser content.”

Perhaps CNN anticipates courageously withstanding ethical criticism. As theJournal‘s Steven Perlberg notes, “These undertakings often raise church-and-state questions about the divide between the editorial and business sides of a company”–understandably, since the point of so-called native advertising is to create advertising vehicles “that feel like editorial work.”

But CNN‘s parent company insists that this is not about fooling consumers:

“This isn’t about confusing editorial with advertising,” said Dan Riess, executive vice president of integrated marketing and branded content at Turner. “This is about telling advertisers’ stories — telling similar stories but clearly labeling that and differentiating that.”

Mr. Riess said CNN’s trustworthiness when it comes to news was part of the reason Courageous would be attractive to advertisers.

“This is CNN. We’re not here to blur the lines,” he said.

So advertisers will come to Courageous because CNN‘s “trustworthiness” and unwillingness to “blur the lines” will be transfered by viewers to advertising content that is “similar” to CNN‘s news but “clearly label[ed] and differentiat[ed].” This is a business strategy, of course, that only works if the similarity outweighs the differentiation.

  • AlanMacDonald

    Nice to see that the pimps in the media/propaganda-sector of this Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire can “get good work if they want it, and thy can get it if they try” to be shills for the EMPIRE.

    “The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard, “U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of the U.S. state apparatus to continue to attempt to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism. We face an EMPIRE of global capital, headquartered, for evident historical reasons, in Washington.”

    Robinson, William I. (2014-07-31). Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (p. 122). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

  • timmyfoxx

    Nobody watches cnn anymore anyway. I’m sure the two viewers left will enjoy it.

  • Pingback: CNN To Be Paid By Corporations To Create News | PopularResistance.Org | Activate! Justice: Talk about money and moral wrongs()

  • mwildfire

    In Toxic Sludge is Good for You, published in 1995–twenty years ago–Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber said that a third of the average newspaper or TV news broadcast was direct out of PR offices, and that there were more PR agents than news reporters. So this division is hardly anything new–perhaps what’s courageous is that (they claim) they are differentiating their paid content from real news.

  • Can this be corroborated on another site?

  • Dan the Man

    no sources? then its bullshit to me.

  • Phoghat

    this is just bind mogling

  • Phoghat

    I’m just waiting for the Corporation Wars to begin ( they may have already, but are called something else for obfuscation)

  • Johnnie Jeffers

    “This isn’t about confusing editorial with advertising,”said Dan Riess, executive vice president of integrated marketing and branded content at Turner.

    So what do you call it then, when you design an advertisement to appear as a news story? What purpose does that serve, if not to fool your viewers into believing an advertisement is an actual news story? I guess we don’t have enough commercials, so we have to insert them into the programming as well.

    I know that newspapers have been doing this for some time. As well as media sites. Buzzfeed is notorious for it. Most of us are already aware that this goes on, but don’t try to make it appear as if it’s a wanted service by consumers, or that it’s designed to do anything else but fool your viewers. You’ll insult their intelligence.

  • Johnnie Jeffers

    Yes, I looked it up. This is not the only site with this story.

  • Mind linking a few of those sites?

  • Wow! What the hell is CNN doing? It is like they’re desperate to throw away what little journalistic integrity they have left …

  • Mary Wehrheim

    When man steps off into the void in the Sixth Great extinction, perhaps the AI robots, Homo sapiens metallicus, will step in. They won’t need atmosphere or food, just solar power. Lucky for them we will have left this mortal coil before we could manage to mess up the sun. I remember from the mid 70s, the movie “Network” was a great send-off on the corporate twisting of reality into a surreal mix of consumerism and surface sensationalism. Mad Magazine was another source of satire.