Some forms of advertising look so much like news, you might not even notice the difference. And that’s a problem and why the Radio TV Digital News Association’s Board of Directors voted to adopt and to publish new guidelines on what has come to be called “native advertising.”

According to RTDNA, the term refers to “content that resembles journalism — but isn’t. In fact, that resemblance is what makes native advertising so valuable and so dangerous.

“It’s valuable because businesses can get their messages published amid actual journalism, not off to the side, down at the bottom or otherwise segregated from news content. They pay handsomely for that.

“It’s dangerous because readers, viewers and listeners can mistake native advertising for news. They can infer that it was produced with their best interests in mind — when in fact it was produced to serve the interests of someone who wrote the site, station or publication a large check.”

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