If Not Paying For Interviews Means Less Story-Telling Drama, Will Advertisers Still Pay?



Seems that big-time news organizations are looking to clean up their acts.

ABC News says it won't pay for interviews, make licensing deals for video or photo content surrounding those interviews. Recently we have found that Rupert Murdoch was horrified to find out that some of his News Corp. editors got their news stories in inappropriate and downright illegal ways. All that has stopped, he says.

All this signals good news for journalism. But will this yield mundane, less glamorous journalistic stories? Will advertisers buy into this?

Faux "entrapment" type stories -- TV or print -- might be next. Big features of dramatic tales -- trapping alleged conmen, pedophiles, etc. -- might not make the cut in New Journalism 2.0.



In the past, ABC News and other organizations were sketchy when it came to paying for interviews.

TV shows and newspapers say deals amount to licensing interview videos and photos. Others say this kind of checkbook journalism went to travel or other expenses. When LeBron James made his decision to play for the Miami Heat over a year ago, the money ESPN paid for programming rights to the James announcement went to a charity.

Other changes: We find sites like slowly working up their pay walls, much to the chagrin of consumers. That's a different kind of checkbook journalism -- perhaps a good one. It separates the real pros from those on the fringe. Consumers might recognize the value difference.

Less-glam news stories might turn viewers in a new direction. Certainly, eliminating cake and giving viewers spinach isn't always the best news consumption strategy. Still, maybe consumers will be more suspect over what is real and what is not.

What's left? All the opinion makers on the 24-hour cable news channels -- the cheap man's way to news value, filled with dubious facts, but great snarky comments.

News programs and other media still need to tell stories with emotion and drama. That requires food -- but not cash -- for thought.

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