TV host and comedian Jon Oliver of “Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver” had an interesting segment on his show about the rise of native advertising. The term is defined by AdWeek.com as “ads that mimic editorial content.” Oliver points out how such advertising is blurring the once hallowed distinction between news and marketing.
If you still aren’t clear on what native advertising is, it’s probably because you’ve actually encountered it and didn’t even know you were reading an ad. It’s no wonder that the Federal Trade Commission has been hesitant to sign off on it.
So have ethics gone out the window in news? As consumers, we’ll be the judge of that. News organizations will have to answer to us when we say they’ve lost our trust. In times like these of such enormous social unrest, we depend on the news to provide us with honest reporting on events. And it’s especially in times like these that journalists need to serve the public, not corporations or government.
When the news becomes controlled by advertisers, it ceases to be of any use to us.