12.17.2006

Boston Globe's news pages become free advertising for Verizon

How low can the local media go in bending over backwards for corporations? Pretty low, as evidenced by this morning's edition of the Boston Globe. The paper has printed an advertisement for Verizon in the Globe West section of the newspaper.

Now, advertisements are nothing new in the paper, but the problem with this ad is that it's disguised as a news story. Lauren K. Meade is listed as the author of "Verizon FiOS arrives" but it looks like it was written by someone working for Verizon's marketing department. Unfortunately, it's not possible for Borderline to determine whether this is actually a violation of the Globe's ethics policies, because these are apparently not posted on the website for the public to review.

In a way, the Globe's articletisement doesn't surprise me. Verizon has proved itself to be very adept at seeding the media with pro-Verizon coverage, and the Globe very pliant in printing it (See "Despite the Hynes/New Media Strategics fiasco, Verizon's master plan for Newton is working"). And while this case is extreme, Borderline would like to remind readers that the Globe has been manipulated by business interests before. Exampes include "Blackout, part II. Media misses the story at first, then gets it wrong" and "Sloppy reporting on Waltham development".

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