Pay for Play Given The Gas Face

Today, the SJMC's Dan Gillmor posts about pay-for-play television spots, and has a billious reaction to the revelation that pay for play happens.

Just some quick thoughts on the subject....

Producers that I have worked with in the past KNOW that such feeds are pay-for-plays, and to think otherwise is quite naive. What's the statistic, that close to 80 percent of what's read in the papers / magazines, or seen on TV news is public relations generated? This is not much different.

It's a long standing practice, as noted in the article, and my first thought reading the NYDN piece was what was the vendetta against this one toy expert. Why did the reporter target the Toy Guy? Without thinking too hard, I can name six people that do pay-for-play television and radio for companies.

To take it a step further, is this much different than a journalist with preferential treatment from a company because the understood relationship is that if reporter A does not get the scoop, he/she will work over the company?

Or, how much different is this than giving a reporter a sneak preview because of a long-standing relationship? Should the reporter have to let his readers know that "I have had a working relationship with Company Z for a decade and they always give me product first and ask for my thoughts, and it may temper my article, etc."

For the readers, would it be best for every reporter to identify the public relations firms that pitched the story they are writing?

Thanks to 3rd Bass today...