Saturday, November 03, 2012

USAT | This is what passes for political news?

Below today's main Mitt Romney campaign story on USA Today's website, I found the following link:

Clicking through to this story, I was then guided to a video for what looks like nothing more than an infomercial. Surely, three days before the presidential election, Gannett's best-known brand can do better.


  1. There's paid content all over the site, it's not anything new. If people can't tell the difference, they shouldn't vote anyway.

  2. I looked. Also scattered in with the real stories are "shocking joint relief discovery" and "the death of stainless". I dislike USAT's decision to put advertorial with legitimate stories. (Go to it, haters. Call me a dinosaur, whatever.) I believe it detracts from the credibility of genuine content.

  3. Why is it OK for TV news(so called)
    to promote Obama day after day
    and not be critised?

  4. Gannett does everything it can to design the ads -- er, "paid content" -- to look like a real reporter's diligent story. Why wouldn't the average reader think this is what this corporation gathers as its news product?

    It's why I don't even read my own paper anymore, even for free online.

  5. Jim – You are no doubt well aware of how media entities have been tying content and related ads together like what you question here for years. So, one has to wonder why you make an issue of it now using political ads.

    Hence, please define how “Gannett's best-known brand can do better” as even Pew* just recently released a study showing Romney gets far more negative coverage than Obama, so are you now suggesting Gannett better balance its stories, that they stop all political ads a few days out or that ads being presented on websites be adjusted to those ratios too?


  6. Gannett's "best-known brand" has become joke. USA Today has floundered like no other newspaper for the last five years, and much of that misery has been self inflicted through various means. Obviously, digital portrays the same dumb errors and oversights as print. There is a credibility and quality control problem that didn't exist to this extent in the past. Until you get the right people in there, at all levels, that problem will only get worse.

  7. It's NOT a political ad. It's an infomercial for a company that sells financial and investment tips. The whole come-on is an attempt to sell copies of a book called "Aftershock", along with the company's products and services.

  8. What does the circle/arrow icon tell me?


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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