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Debate about whether PR growth threatens news integrity shows stunning lack of journalist self-awareness 4/9/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in PR.

In London tonight, a debate was held with the proposed motion “The growth of PR is threatening the integrity of the press.” Some whining journalists are lamenting the fact that most news stories are the result of PR firms and similar folks coming to them, rather than journalists wandering into their offices everyday going “la-dee-da, I wonder what important story I’ll pull out of thin air today?”

Do dinosaurs live in caves? Have these journalists not noticed that for decades there has been an enormous industry much larger than their own consisting of PR firms, think tanks, spokespeople, press offices, and other communications people? Have they ever considered that none of these institutions would even exist unless their organizations believed they could regularly influence what’s in the news? Have these journalists not noticed that their newspapers would be just about empty without these indispensable people regularly feeding them ideas for stories, every one of which reflects a news ax to grind?

But most importantly, why shouldn’t these institutions be trying to get their stories told? That’s called “free speech” and it is what America is all about (granted, this debate was in London). PR firms and others in the news-feeding business have gobs of “integrity” — they are transparently representing the interests of citizens who happen to believe in what they are pitching. Perhaps journalists who would question their right to do so ought to have their own “integrity” questioned. To my friends and colleagues in London, I’d like to propose this motion for the next debate: “Did the growth of journalism threaten the integrity of citizens’ freedom of speech?”


1. davidmoyle - 4/9/08

One thing I would add: Do they realize that with the internet and social networking, they are not the only method to get news out about a company or product? PR people who are smart are using the internet to get the word out. I would think they would embrace what PR people are trying to do and want to be a part of the future.

2. Uncle Rico - 7/29/08

Bullcrap Napoleon!

3. 502 - 10/22/09

Muslim speech just before the elections and after that the BJP gave him a ticket to contest. ,

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