Monday, September 28, 2009

Hiring a Reporter?

"If your business depends on free publicity from newspapers, what do you do when the papers can no longer afford to send reporters to cover you?" asks New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena in an article published on Sunday.

"In professional sports," he says, "the answer, increasingly, is hire your own."

A California hockey team, The Los Angeles Kings, recently hired a reporter to compile coverage of the team for its website. Apparently, the team gave the journalist "a multiyear commitment and complete autonomy to post reporting or commentary." The reporter will travel along with the team and cover its competitions.

“'We have a passionate fan base who want instant information about our team, but there’s been declining news coverage of us,'” a spokesman for the Kings was quoted in Perez-Pena's article. At the same time, the journalist enlisted by the team said that the job change would represent a pay increase and a higher level of job security.

So, is this situation a win-win?

Or, in blurring the lines between journalism and PR, does it represent an ethical dilemma? Is there, in fact, a major difference between PR and journalism-for-hire?

1 comment:

Emily Woodward said...

In this article, "Can 'sponsored journalism' really work?" Amy Mengel discusses the issues of hiring a reporter. Check it out! What do you think?