Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics on a Bag? No Thanks, Newspapers Say.

THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION is backing John McCain in next week's presidential election, and they are actively campaigning against Barack Obama.

So the NRA, through their political action committee, is trying to send their message to the public. One of the ways they are trying to do that is by purchasing ad space on the plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in.

But newspapers have been turning down the advertisements, mostly on the basis of ethics and balance.

"If your wrap on Election Day is portraying one particular point of view, that's going to be pretty damaging to your credibility," Kelly McBride, ethics group leader for the Poynter Institute, told the Virginia Pilot.

"I think it would be hard for voters, in that moment, to discern whether this is the paper's point of view or someone else's," she added. "You don't want to do something on Election Day that essentially alienates your readers."

Would you accept those advertising dollars?

Do you think that the public would be confused by a newspaper wrapped in a politically charged bag? Would they believe that, because of the ad, the newspaper is endorsing that candidate?


Pete B said...

Yes quite obviously I think that if a bad was wrapped in a bag supporting one candidate or the other, than the public would assume the newspaper was endorsing the candidate as well.

I wouldn't accept the advertising dollars, they can buy space inside the newspaper like everybody else.

It's a good idea, don't get me wrong though... just a newspaper would have to be dumb if they weren't endorsing McCain to allow the public to receive newspapers in this way

bethany barton said...

Definitely not.

As a subscriber to a particular newspaper, I'd be pretty upset if my newspaper showed up on my doorstep wrapped in propaganda. Especially if the advertisement was advocating a candidate I'm opposed to.
Like McBride esplained, the newspaper's credibility is at stake. Newspapers are to present unbiased news. Wrapping the paper in an endorsement for either candidate would dismantle their reputation.
From a business standpoint, taking the advertising dollars isn't worth risking the entire paper's credibility.
I agree with pete... the NRA and John McCain can buy space inside just like every one else.

Kate Stafford said...

Its a good advertising ploy and an easy way to get their message out, but it would be too damaging to the newspapers reputation. The public would assume the newspaper was pushing that message and would feel alienated like McBride mentioned. It could damage the newspaper's reputation.

jessica lista said...

If a newspaper was wrapped in a bag with a certain presidential candidate's face on it, I would definitely think that that newspaper was endorsing that candidate. I feel it is a very smart way to advertise but it is to risky for a newspaper's reputation. Just like the comments above, John McCain and the NRA can find an alternative way to advertise or just advertise inside the paper. Its not worth it for the newspaper to risk their credibility.

Courtney Schmidt said...

I would not want my newspaper coming wrapped in someone else's political opinion. I agree with Pete, if you want to voice your opinion, by ad space like every other company and candidate is doing.
A newspaper is suppose to be there to give you both sides, and if it comes wrapped in just one, that makes them look bad.

Najee said...

Like everyone else has said, it wouldn't look so appealing on the newspaper since journalism is supposed to be non-objective. Great Idea, but NRA is going to have to think of another way to trash Obama.


Thomas Stevens said...

I really just can't believe that the NRA thought this would be a good idea. That no one on their advertising committee said "wait, maybe newspapers, these supposedly objective information sources, WOULDN'T want to have a notoriously right-wing lobbying association advertise through them." Two thumbs down NRA. And yes, I do think that this would alienate readers and confuse them, although most people who read the paper aren't usually idiots.

Lauren Grant said...

No because its negative advertising. It is going against Obama, and readers who support Obama may find the advertisement offensive. It's not like the scenario when Obama was advertising a book, this is a negative ad that may have a negative impact on the readers.

Megan McCue Journalism said...

It isn't actually part of the newspaper, I think I would just look at it as an advertisement. It is really up to the paper and their stance on political advertising.