OLD Media Moves

Interesting disclosure

April 19, 2006

I’ve been reading more of the media coverage of the Wal-Mart conference with journalists from the past two days, and I found something interesting at the end of a story on the ABC News web site.

The disclosure read: “ABC News producer Charles Herman is attending Wal-Mart’s media conference and will be filing updates on the company’s presentation to journalists. Wal-Mart is a sponsor of ABCNews.com.”

You can see the disclosure here.

By “sponsor,” I am assuming that ABCNews.com means that Wal-Mart advertises on its Web site. Just curious, but how many newspapers and news Web sites disclose at the end of their stories whether or not the company mentioned in the story advertises in their media outlet? I read a lot of newspapers, and I don’t know of one newspaper that does this at the end of a story.

But wouldn’t it be interesting? And is that where this new era of media transparency is leading all of us?

I can envision this disclosure from when I covered Coca-Cola for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Reporter Chris Roush drinks Coca-Cola products, though his wife drinks Pepsi.”

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