WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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Oct 24, 2017

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton feels product placement during newscasts has gotten out of hand.  She said the wall between news and sales has gotten so thin that you can see through it.

Crighton said she saw a meteorologist on CNN interrupt a report to plug a sponsor before carrying on with the report.  And she’s seen similar plugs for sponsors done on a local TV station in the Quad Cities.  This goes beyond what she finds acceptable for TV newscasts.

Panelist Will Buss said this reminds him of the uproar when newspapers started placing ads on the front page.  That was once considered taboo but it quickly became accepted.  He wonders if TV networks and stations will start running ads in a crawl at the bottom of the screen during newscasts.

Buss feels the ads and product placements within newscasts open the media to more criticism.  He thinks the mix of news with ads hurts journalists who are trying to be objective.

Panelist Rich Egger said this is just another example of Madison Avenue’s increasing presence in our lives.  He said product placement is already common in television shows, movies, and sports.

Egger also said there is a difference between public media and commercial broadcasters: public media is mission driven whereas commercial stations are profit driven.