Just thinking about it briefly, one would likely figure that the relationship between advertising and journalism is one of opposition.
Journalism at its core focuses on the sharing of news and current events, and most associate this entity with a strong sense of honesty and integrity. Without this foundation of truth understood by the masses, journalism would simply be fiction and cease to be.
Advertising and public relations are two worlds that are used in conjunction all the time, and the general consensus is that these two are, in essence, the very opposite of journalism. Consumers tend to be wary of advertisements, as historically we’ve learned that the truth is often times expanded, contorted, or even flat out omitted for the sake of getting someone to buy a product.
But, could these two seemingly separate fields be getting closer? Perhaps closer than we think. According to a blog post on businessesgrow.com, a shift in both fields is prevalent, and social media sites are likely the culprit.
In this day and age where everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and the world wide web at their fingertips, anyone can be a journalist, and thanks to social networking websites, almost everyone is one. Millions of stories and reports are shared every day on social media sites from the perspectives of the people directly involved. For this reason, major “big name” news sources are increasingly playing the role of advertiser. From paying to have their stories promoted onto people’s social media timelines, to using “clickbait” titles, these major news sources are competing for the most site traffic. This new dynamic leads way to the potential compromising of journalistic integrity.
On the other hand, we could also say that advertising is increasingly becoming like journalism. There is always a story happening, everywhere every day, and to be able to sell a product along with a compelling story is just the thing advertisers strive to do. For example, just look to some of the commercials that ran in this year’s Superbowl. Many took a political stance and gave commentary relevant to current events in order to sell their product.
To say that the worlds of advertising, public relations,and journalism are all connected would be an understatement. They coexist now more than ever in a way where each plays the role of the other.