Rinky Inky

Newspapers are in trouble. Their readership and advertising revenue has gone steadily downward. Recently, the New York Times reported that for the first time, their advertising revenue is less than their circulation revenue. So newspapers are struggling to balance their books.

This, however, does not give a high-quality newspaper like the Philadelphia Inquirer permission to sell its soul. But it seems that they have done just that. Notice the advertised announcement, below. This has appeared for the past several days in the Inquirer.

First, let me say that the Cooper Health System is a top-notch organization. As a senior citizen with a chronic health issue, I use Cooper’s services almost exclusively, and  I have found the doctors, nurses, and technicians in the Cooper system to be caring professionals responsive to my needs.

But it’s bad enough to have a giant in the medical-industrial complex sponsor newspaper coverage pertaining to health. Yes, there’s a separation of the advertising and editorial staffs in any responsible news outlet, but such sponsorship leaves unanswered questions about the credibility of their health coverage.

This credibility gap is exacerbated by the fact that the Chairman of Cooper’s Board is South Jersey power broker George Norcross III. Norcross happens to be part owner of the Inquirer. Again, while the Inquirer claims that Chairman Norcross has no say over editorial content, there will always be clouds of doubt.



Comments (3)

  1. denniscmcgrath

    leaving aside concerns about Norcross, the vitality of the firewall between editorial and advertising is entirely up to the scuples of the managing executives and the steel spine or lack thereof of the editor in chief. That barrier has fallen many many times before – I have a good friend who lost his job with the Times o Trenton many years ago for publishing the announcement that their biggest advertiser had gone chapter 11 – and will do so many times in the future. It’s up to the Inky to police itself. As you go forward, reading the Health section, if it’s about as it was the balance such as it was has been amintained – if it’s all Cooper, all the time, not so much.

    Reply
  2. deciminyan (Post author)

    Interestingly, this morning’s Inky did not appear on my doorstep. Is Norcross that good?

    Reply
  3. Bertin Lefkovic

    It is only a matter of time before all of the Norcross-controlled newspapers are merged into one, renamed, and the political machine’s most progressive apologist, deciminyan, is named Editor-in-Chief.

    Reply

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