When a biz reporter breaks news to the source
Michael Dailey of the New York Times writes about how business reporter Sapna Maheshwari broke news to JPMorgan Chase about its advertising.
Dailey writes, “In late February, while investigating the financing of a network of fake news sites, Sapna Maheshwari, a business reporter at The Times, came across a site that looked similar to many others she had seen. It was covered with sensational political headlines and surrounded by ads with lewd, attention-grabbing images, including medical oddities and barely dressed women.
“But something caught Ms. Maheshwari’s eye. It was incongruous, even for that medium: an ad for JPMorgan Chase’s Private Client services, displayed among the clickbait links. She captured the mélange in a screen grab and forwarded it to Kristin Lemkau, the bank’s chief marketing officer.
“The result made news — the real kind.
“The sight of her company’s ad next to the ‘chum’ content, as it has been called, startled Ms. Lemkau. Called for comment, she told Ms. Maheshwari that the company would conduct a human audit of its digital advertising across 400,000 sites. ‘It was unusual how someone so senior got involved from the get-go,’ said Ms. Maheshwari, who has come to expect companies’ senior officials to be reticent — even intransigent — when confronted with embarrassing material.
“Not so with Ms. Lemkau. Last week, she even tweeted a thank-you to Ms. Maheshwari: ‘Why journalism works,’ she wrote.”
Read more here.