- A laugh riot
- CEO profile: Henry Ketcham
- CEO profile: Jürgen Schreiber
- CEO profile: Jim Shaw
- CEO Profile: John Beck
- CEO profile: Lino Saputo
- CEO Profile: Nancy Southern
- CEO Profile: Paul Reynolds
- CEO Profile: Terry Leon
- Chatelaine -New Year Resolutions
- Chatelaine health briefs
- Chatelaine: defuse your temper
- Chatelaine: exercise rut
- Chatelaine: farmer’s market
- Chatelaine: serenity on route
- Chatelaine: Walk off 10 pounds
- Clippy, I hardly knew thee
- Crocs lose footing
- dandyhorse – bike summit
- dandyhorse- door prize
- dandyhorse- Marvel
- dandyhorse- Rockers who Roll
- Diamond industry
- Divorce planning
- Entourage: accountant
- Entourage: clothier
- Entourage: doctor
- Entourage: financial advisor
- Entourage: lawyer
- Entreprenuer of the year: Ven Coté
- Family File – Divorce
- Family file: can we retire?
- Family file: cancer
- Family file: ditch the suburbs
- Family file: first home
- Family file: how big a slice?
- Family file: newlyweds
- Family file: religion
- Family file: self-employed
- Family file: too much, too soon?
- FP column – philanthropy
- A Good Night’s Sleep
- Bikes for Tykes
- Boomer philanthropy
- Corporate philanthropy day
- Detecting Fraud
- Doing well and good; Entrepreneurs and art gallery owners make charity their business
- Donations down
- First responders heed Haiti’s call
- Fraud and the Banyan Tree
- Freedom from Four Eyes
- Girl Impact
- give a day to help fight AIDS
- mental health and addiction
- the silent issue
- FP column: Entourage
- FP column: portfolio repair
- FP Mag – Job Shadow – Chef
- Fp500: Booms, busts and aggro
- How to stand out
- Impunity in Canada
- Job Shadow- chalk artist
- Laid off?
- Money from nothin’
- Money from nothin’
- Sex in the newsroom
- Social Enterprise
- Spraypaint scripture
- The colour of money
- The Colour of Money
- The refinance itch
- To you, I’m fluff
- When you hear layoff rumours…
Real-time storytelling: from Journalism to Marketing
With the power to publish now in the palms of million of hands, what does it mean for the relationship between journalists and the brands whose news they once had a near-monopoly on distribution? And with more brands taking advantage of this fact and moving to tell their own stories and establish their brands as go-to sources of information, what does this mean for news organizations? This week's Scribble Chat with Ira Basen will look at this relationship, how it has changed in recent years, and how, on a more micro level, journalists have moved into branded content creation roles and why. Basen, a journalist at CBC for more than 25 years, has researched the dynamic nature of these relationships, producing a number of radio documentaries and online pieces for publications such as CBC, The Globe and Mail, and J-Source.ca. join us on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 12–1 p.m. ET for a discussion on journalists' relationship with content, brands and marketing, and how it is all changing.
With the power to publish now in the palms of million of hands, what does it mean for the relationship between journalists and the brands whose news they once had a near-monopoly on distribution? And with more brands taking advantage of this fact and moving to tell their own stories and establish their brands as go-to sources of information, what does this mean for news organizations?
This week's Scribble Chat with Ira Basen will look at this relationship, how it has changed in recent years, and how, on a more micro level, journalists have moved into branded content creation roles and why.
Basen, a journalist at CBC for more than 25 years, has researched the dynamic nature of these relationships, producing a number of radio documentaries and online pieces for publications such as CBC, The Globe and Mail, and J-Source.ca. Check out his most recent documentary, "Brand New World," that aired in September on CBC's Sunday Edition.
Then, join us on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 12–1 p.m. ET for a discussion on journalists' relationship with content, brands and marketing, and how it is all changing.
Ira Basen began his career at CBC Radio in 1984.by Belinda Alzner
He was senior producer at Sunday Morning and Quirks and Quarks. He has been involved in the creation of three network programs; The Inside Track (1985), This Morning (1997), and Workology (2001), as well as several special series, including “Spin Cycles”, an award winning six part look at PR and the media, that was broadcast on CBC Radio One in January/February 2007, and “News 2.0”, a two part exploration of news in the age of social media that aired in June 2009. He currently produces documentaries for The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio One.Ira has written for Saturday Night, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and the Canadian Journal of Communication, CBC.ca. He is a contributing editor at J-source.ca., and a contributor to the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of WisconsinHe has won numerous awards, including the Canadian Science Writers Association Award, the Canadian Nurses Association Award, the Gabriel Award, and the New York Radio Festival Award. His article “Citizen Uprising” was included in the book “Best Canadian Essays -2010”, and his article “Age of the Algorithm” was nominated for a 2011 National Magazine Award.Ira has developed several training programs for CBC journalists, including courses on short-form documentary making, “spin”, journalism ethics, and user generated content, as well as a series of webinars on critical thinking. He has also taught at the Radio Netherlands Training Center in Hilversum NL.In the fall of 2012, Ira was the CanWest Fellow in Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, where he taught a course in the future of journalism. He was also chosen to deliver the Annual Clissold Lecture in Journalism. He is also on the faculty of the Masters in Communications Management program and the Bachelor of Professional Communication program at McMaster University, where he teaches courses in communications ethics. He also teaches at Ryerson University, and in the Media Studies program at the Scarborough Campus of the University of Toronto, where he teaches media ethics.He is the co-author of the Canadian edition of The Book of Lists (Knopf Canada, 2005).
If you're a tire company and write a story about driving in the winter, it might not be that different than regular media story. But a story written by an engineer at the tire company might be a better source than a journalist. It's often difficult to tell the difference between a brand and media story.
(If you're new to the concept, here's our Scribble Chat about real-time content marketing)
For a good primer on the debate surrounding journalism, brands and the changing relationship that brand journalism and content marketing is driving, there's also this article that Basen wrote for The Globe and Mail last year.In it, he raises the idea that transparency is the new objectivity for journalism:
Can the interests of readers really be served – indeed, can journalism even exist – in the absence of editorial integrity?
Most mainstream practitioners of the craft say no. But legions of bloggers, content marketers and brand journalists beg to differ. Replace independence with greater transparency, they claim, and readers come out ahead – especially if that much-vaunted editorial integrity isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.
Journalists are taught to be independent seekers of truth but if you're writing for a brand, you're not doing that. Ira recalls a time he spoke with someone from Cisco who gave the following guidelines to his writers: don't harm Cisco and don't promote the competition. If you were writing for a newspaper, your editor would probably give you the exact same advice.
While Ira answers that question, here's an article he wrote for J-source.ca last month on the subject.
Enter “native advertising.” Never heard of it? More and more publishers are convinced it will play an important role in whatever new business model for news emerges out of journalism’s current economic crisis.
The essence of native advertising is that content that originates from a brand should be given the same prominence on the page or the screen as editorial content. The source of the content should always be clearly identified on the screen or the page, but Lewis D’Vorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes Media, believes that advertisers are no longer prepared to see their content relegated into an ad ghetto.
Ira said he spoke with someone recently who comes from the fashion media world and now writes corporate stories. She felt that brand journalism is actually more ethical: they're up front and transparent about who their advertisers are. With fashion publications, that's not always entirely clear.
If you're writing for Coke, you're writing on one of their platforms. Native advertising is when brands integrate their content into a traditional media site. And example, on Forbes.com you can see both Forbes content and advertorial content. The connection between the two are supposed to be seamless.
To follow up on something Ira just said, that news and brands were once partners but are now competitors. How has this relationship between news and brands changed now that these brands have the ability to publish their own stories and can, at times, bypass the media?
Traditional media outlets used to have the monopoly on distribution of content but that's no longer the case. But what these traditional media outlets can bring is skilled storytellers and a well established platform. Marketers are often not trained as storytellers so media brands can help create these story brands.
The goal is simple: try to generate desperately needed revenue. Advertisers come and say they have money to invest and publishers need to figure out ways to create this content without compromising journalistic values but there are different approaches to this. The Toronto Star has Star Content Studio and they say the two departments have no connection. At the Globe and Mail, their custom content division is a part of the advertising department which is in their newsroom.
From the advertiser's point of view, they want their stories to look as much like editorial content as possible; editors, however, need to be transparent and delineate editorial and sponsored content. As with most things, some publications are better at this transparency than others.
The first point is this is relatively new terrain so everyone's working on getting their footing. The Atlantic accepted content from the Church of Scientology, were criticized and pulled the content. The point is this is all about trial and error.
This has always been an issue. In print, we used to have advertorials but now we often see "weasel words" that try to trick the reader into thinking sponsored content is editorial. Another tradition that has been lost is advertisers not being able to influence editorial content.
Forbes, a pioneer in this field, is a great example of clear labeling. But sites like Digital Journal show us not everyone is as clear and transparent as they should be.