OLD Media Moves

Ethics and business-to-business magazines

January 11, 2006

Here is an entry today from the Editors Weblog at www.editorsweblog.org:

American B-to-B editors ‘dissatisfied’ with ethics at their own magazines

“Against a splattered backdrop of product placement and increasing pressure from advertisers to blur the lines between advertising and editorial, a survey of high-ranking editors at 157 trade publications reveals “a serious concernâ€? about the ethical environment in which those editors operate” said Folio Magazine.

According to the survey, conducted by the American Society of Business Publication Editors in advance of a revision of its own ethics code, 37 percent said their magazines had a formal editorial code of ethics, and about a third of those respondents said their publication or company backs them in ethical stands “only sometimes.� Of those who said their publications did not have a formal code, 47 percent said they were backed “only sometimes.�

An overwhelming majority—90 percent—felt that b-to-b publications need editorial ethics guidelines. (The American Society of Magazine Editors, the ASBPE’s consumer equivalent, revised its own guidelines in October to address the budding product placement controversy.)

The survey also found respondents alleging ethical lapses outside the newsroom. Forty percent said they were “aware of sales staff engaging in unethical behavior,� while 22 percent were aware of such conduct among the edit staff.

To read the entire entry on ethics at these magazines, go here.

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