Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ad creep at The Oregonian

Today's Oregonian displayed further evidence of the decline of "Old Media."

Ceding more ground to advertisers to an effort to reverse declining ad revenues, editors are being told to let ads actually intrude visually into stories.

I wrote a friend, who is a senior editor at the Oregonian, to complain about a Dodge ad on page A5.

Here, in part, is what I wrote my friend:

"I know the barriers between editorial and advertising have been under siege for years, but this is blatant visual evidence of it.

"Ads and stories, in my view, should be visually separate.

"The line is literally breached with this ad. To me the layout suggests that editorial content is being encroached upon by advertising.

"Those Dodges are 'running over' the news —and journalism is the victim. The page makes a visual statement of troubling priorities."

He wrote me back a one-liner: "Thanks, Rick ... the world is changing ... not always in ways we like."

The response is more depressing than ad-dominated page layout.

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