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.