Our class experimented with advertorials for the first time this week. We paired up with those creative advertising types and were given a client to write an advertorial.
What is an advertorial you may ask? It’s an advertisement disguised as a news story. GASP!
I entered the journalism world to tell stories. Real stories. When writing the copy for this advertorial, I struggled. I was spoon-fed information from a website, and essentially I didn’t feel like what was written was my words. These “stories” don’t tell both sides. It’s simply a fancy advertisement.
A journalist is trained to go out there and find the story that hasn’t been told before. I have a hard time believing that some journalists now need to write this type of stuff. If advertisers are interested in having this kind of copy in newspapers, I believe they should be writing it themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I still understand why newspapers are looking for this kind of custom publishing. It brings in big bucks during a time of uncertainty. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I believe this is print journalism’s way of trying to make up for loss revenue.
Custom publishing increases the size of a newspaper, still have “editorial” for people to read, but they also get paid to have it in there by advertisers. Honestly, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Custom publishing is a new trend, and it’s something that I as a young journalist will have to get used to. There isn’t a single job out there that people love everything about. We always need to grind something out that we don’t necessarily want to do, and for me, it seems like it’s going to be the advertorial.
One day, I might be thankful for it. Because while it probably won’t save the print business, it’s going to help sustain it and bring revenue to the newspaper.
Revenue for the newspaper = steady income for me.