Wednesday, October 26, 2005

All news is good news

$100,000 of good news in Newark, New Jersey. From the AP:

Call it pay for praise, greenbacks for good news, bucks for beneficial publicity. The Newark City Council has awarded the Newark Weekly News a $100,000 no-bid contract to publish positive news about the city.

Howard Scott, who owns Newark Weekly News, pitched the idea to the city council, which unanimously approved the idea earlier this month.

"Do we have critical reporters on staff? No. Do we have investigative reporters? No," Scott said. "Our niche is the good stuff. People have come to know it, and they love it."

Under the contract, the paper will work with the city's public information office to spread positive aspects of the city.

The paper can only generate stories based on leads from the council and the mayor's office.

John O'Brien, executive director of the New Jersey Press Association, said it was bad public policy to use tax dollars this way.

"The press role is supposed to be that of a watchdog," O'Brien said.

Is this journalism or advertising?? I fear it may be a waste of $100,000.

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