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Posts Tagged ‘David Carr’

4 Experts on the Future of ‘Corporate Journalism’ and Sponsored Content

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One of this week’s most interesting stories came via David Carr of The New York Times. In “Journalism, Independent or Not,” he addressed the rise of brands or corporations that want to make their own news, be it through sponsored content written by someone else or “outlets” created and managed by the companies themselves.

In this case, the site was created by Verizon and its advertising agency — but Chevron recently received a bit of heat for doing the same sort of thing.

As the journalistic discipline continues to struggle, more and more businesses are attempting to control or, at least, contribute to the larger conversation by creating their own stories. And many PR firms have launched content creation shops to better serve such clients (Edelman’s Creative Newsroom is a good example).

But how can these companies create real value by achieving a balance between paid promotional materials and real, substantive news?

We asked four industry experts for their takes on the trend.

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New School Media Lightly Disses Old School Media at Vanity Fair Event

Here’s a fun one: at today’s Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, three leaders of the “new school” media had some things to say about the old folks:

How wrong are Kara Swisher and Shane Smith, though? David Carr knows because he covers this sort of thing for a living.

BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti outlines the growth model in the accompanying post: start with the kitty pic-sticles, move into producing real-world journalism, and get bought by the old guys waving around their legacy money.

Swisher attributes this shift to the newfound power of the Wi-Fi enabled consumer who, as Peretti noted, would just as soon spend an evening diving into the YouTube rabbit hole as checking out a “piece of highly produced media behind a paywall.”

Hard to imagine a starker portrait of the old school asking the new school what the kids are watching. The meta McConaughey pre-roll ad is just icing on the cake.

‘Personal PR Consultant’ to Roger Ailes Buys Ads Promoting Official Biography

cn_image.size.roger-ailes-bookAnd that’s the most interesting detail we took from the recent glut of reporting on Roger Ailes‘s reaction to Gabriel Sherman‘s “unauthorized” bio The Loudest Voice in the Room, which will finally hit shelves tomorrow.

Here’s another one: as part of what NYT‘s David Carr calls “Ailes’s permanent pushback campaign“, the Fox exec chose his own biographer, Zev Chafets (who also wrote about Rush Limbaugh) to pen a competing book called Roger Ailes: Off Camera. He then promoted that tome via Fox when it came out in March and placed an exclusive excerpt in Vanity Fair, of all places.

That’s not all, though.

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Sponsored Content: Essential Branding Tool, Death of Journalism or Both?

“Let me tell you a story about our sponsor…”

The chorus has spoken: brands who don’t jump on the sponsored content train are destined for the banner ad dustbin.

But is it true? David Carr of The New York Times isn’t so sure. Joe McCamby—a designer who created the very first banner ad in 1994 when MTV still played Nirvana videos and Facebook was the name of your high school art project—thinks the increasingly grey line between journalism and advertising could end up hurting publishers and, by extension, the brands that hire them.

Why?

The problem, as McCamby sees it, lies in publishers allowing PR and marketing agencies to post directly to their sites through their own content management systems. He thinks readers will question the origins and accuracy of every editorial piece in a given publication once they discover that said mag/website is in the sponsored content game. Those readers, he implies, wouldn’t find much value in sponsored content in the first place, and it can soil their opinions of their favorite magazines and websites.

How true is that fear?

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Notable Quotes from 2012 Events

Savvy presenters at business events know the audience is there to hear candid comments, fresh insights, and surprising anecdotes–not humblebragging, self-promotion or overused buzzwords. If presenters don’t deliver, attendees will tune out and spend more time networking outside the conference hall. Not every speaker got that memo, however: it’s still a challenge to sift through all the jargon and make each event worthwhile.

We’ve highlighted seven memorable quotes from various New York-based events we covered in 2012. They deal with a range of topics: creativity, media relations, CEO visibility, producing original content, the risks of using celebrity spokespeople, teamwork, publicity and controversy.

1. “Grit is especially important when it comes to creativity. If it was easy, someone else would have done it.

-Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works and former contributor to The New Yorker and Wired magazines, delivered a keynote at ARF’s Re:think conference in March. In the ensuing months, Lehrer saw his own career falter after being accused of plagiarism and quote fabrication–so he didn’t follow his own advice.

2. “Now it’s a better age between journalists and PR. There’s an absence of friction, and PR is part of the data stream.

-David Carr, New York Times media reporter, spoke during Internet Week in May. Carr’s welcome though limited remarks on the dynamics of the relationship came in response to an audience question.

3. “A few companies with secure, confident CEOs take the lead on issues and speak out, but it’s hardly a universal practice.

-Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR, addressed Ethisphere’s Best Practices in Ethics Communication event in June. His comments have since been echoed by others in the industry.

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Quotation Approval: PR No-No or Standard Practice?

Media personalities have made a bit of hay this week over the fact that the White House requested and received the right to review and approve of all the quotes that appeared in Michael Lewis’s upcoming Vanity Fair article on the president and his team.

Sounds like a media scandal, right? Well, not really. According to The New York Times columnist David Carr, quote approval is nothing but standard operating procedure–and it’s hardly limited to the world of politics. Subjects ranging from Wall Street super-bank CEOs to Silicon Valley tech pioneers and even startup managers have grown used to getting their way when it comes to press coverage. According to Carr and his colleagues, key contacts now expect “the kind of consideration that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.”

In other words, journalists may have trouble accessing important figures unless they agree to this new kind of relationship, quotation approval rights and all. The practice may clash with classic journalistic ethics, but it’s part of the media landscape now. The Times claims that it will begin pushing back harder against this sort of behavior among its reporters, but from where we sit it looks a whole lot like everyday SOP.

We can only assume that this practice occurs at all levels of the PR industry. When does it become an ethical problem?

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Scandal du Jour: Plagiarism!

The Words” is a new film starring everyone’s favorite faux Frenchman, Bradley Cooper. Its plot, as we understand it, revolves around the concept of author as plagiarist–and while we can’t exactly recommend the movie based on its critical reception, we thought we’d use this opportunity (and the emergence of another small-scale plagiarism story) to examine parallel scandals that engaged the chattering classes this summer: the public trials of Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria.

Seems like everyone is copying the work of others these days–even noted wordsmith Chuck Norris has been caught red-handed. The two men at the center of this hot topic are very different personalities—and both the charges leveled against them and the public’s reaction to their respective PR crises have been very different as well. Fareed Zakaria is a respected journalist and TV news personality while Jonah Lehrer is (or, more accurately, was) a rising writer, speaker, and acknowledged expert in the realms of neurology and human behavior.

What, exactly, did they do?

Zakaria copied a paragraph of a Time article on gun control from an earlier New Yorker piece by historian Jill Lepore. CNN also found that one of his blog posts for CNN.com “contained similar unattributed quotes.” When accused of other acts of sloppy journalism, he lashed out at critics before backing down.

Lehrer’s first crime was plagiarizing himself—observers discovered that he often repeated passages that had appeared in previous columns or books. While this was bad news for Lehrer, it wasn’t necessarily the end of the world. Unfortunately, further investigations uncovered a disturbing history of similar behavior during his time at Wired and other publications. And that wasn’t the worst of it: The final, damning revelation was the fact that Lehrer had straight-up invented nonexistent Bob Dylan quotes for his bestselling book “Imagine”—and when pressed on his offense, he denied it and made more false claims before breaking down and confessing to his own dishonesty.

The saddest part about these stories is that both writers remain very talented, very busy men who obviously bit off more than they could chew. What conclusions can we, as PR and media professionals, draw from their cases?

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David Carr: My First Big Break

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” New York Times columnist, and journalist’s journalist, David Carr remembers the first big story of his career.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

‘NYT’s David Carr at Internet Week: ‘Now It’s A Better Age Between Journalists and PR’

It was Page One on day two of Internet Week as visitors got an inside look from New York Times’ top media reporters.

Last year’s Page One documentary profiled The New York Times media desk, and today two of its best-known reporters, David Carr (left) and Brian Stelter (below), appeared on stage at Internet Week. They not only chronicled what it’s like to work at the “paper of record,” but also commented on the paywall, social media platforms, their relationship with PR professionals, and with each other. Below are highlights.

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The Former PR Executive Trying To Save Philadelphia’s Newspapers

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PRNewser has been covering Brian Tierney for quite some time. The former head of now Interupblic-owned Tierney Communications is putting up a battle to keep Phiadelphia’s major newspapers, the Inquirer and Daily News, out of the hands of creditors who have allowed them to stay alive.

In a profile this week, The New York TimesDavid Carr calls Tierney, “the kind of newcomer that longtime newspapermen love to hate. He’s slick, he cut his teeth in public relations, and he loves to wrap his mouth around a catchy phrase.”

Regardless of whether longtime newspapermen love or hate Tierney, his quest to keep Philadelphia’s newspapers out of the hands of creditors is coming to a climax, as Carr reports.

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