9.15.2005

When advertising and "news" get too close, watch out!

I just spotted this tidbit about newspaper restaurant "reviews" that were actually written by the same person who sold ads to the restaurants appearing in his column.

Reminds me of the News Tribune's real estate coverage, and the Boston Globe's automotive coverage by Royal Ford, who, for reasons that should be both obvious and shameful, decides to give a nice "review" of the new Hummer with gas prices approaching $3/gallon.

When I review restaurants on this blog, I tell it like it is. For proof, look at what I have said about local Japanese restaurants. I also give honest appraisals of local media and politicians, and when I make a mistake, admit I was wrong.

This is something you won't see elsewhere. Newspapers are often part of the establishment owing to personal or commercial relationships, and writers at local media outlets (reporters, columnists, and editorial writers) seldom personally admit they got the facts wrong.

I'll make a few exceptions: Brian McGrory at the Globe has personally admitted he made a mistake when he trashed the character of a rich executive at one of Boston's financial companies. Brian has his faults, but I respect him for that. Additionally, the Herald is not afraid of taking on the political establishment -- in fact, it seems to revel in uncovering government abuse of power, nepotism, cronyism, etc.

It would be good if the Tab or News Tribune was as aggressive as the Herald in this respect. Until they get some backbone, I am willing to take a hard look at local pols. Send tips to me at borderlineblog@gmail.com.

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