October 31, 2016 Last Updated 7:51 am

Turkish police detain editor, top staff at opposition newspaper; Hearst brings advertorials to TV

Morning Brief: Some news publishers begin to wonder whether the Outbrain and Taboola junk editorial is worth the pennies they earn to ruin their editorial reputations

Thanks to the media’s obsession with Hillary Clinton’s emails, there has been little pressure to discuss real issues in this year’s election cycle. Where do the candidate’s stand, for instance, on Turkey’s continued decline into authoritarian government? What do the candidates think about a president’s ability to jail members of the media? (I think I know the answer to that question.)

Later this week I will break with tradition and actually state my preference in this presidential race. The reason is that TNM, and its sister website, has been directly effected by the race, thanks to DDoS attacks and direct threats. For now, take a read about what is going on in Turkey and ask yourself “could this be our future, too?”


Turkey detains editor, top staff at opposition newspaper

Turkish police detained the editor and a dozen senior staff from the main secularist opposition newspaper on Monday, a day after 10,000 more civil servants were sacked over suspected links to a failed July coup.

cumhuriye-400Turkey’s crackdown since rogue soldiers tried to seize power on July 15 has alarmed Western allies and rights groups, who fear President Tayyip Erdogan is using the coup attempt to crush dissent. More than 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended and 37,000 arrested over the past three and a half months.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office said the staff from the Cumhuriyet daily, one of few media outlets still critical of Erdogan, were suspected of committing crimes on behalf of Kurdish militants and the network of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric. Turkey accuses Gulen of orchestrating the coup attempt, in which he denies any involvement.

…Asked by reporters to comment on his detention, Engin said: “I work for Cumhuriyet, isn’t that enough?”


So, some publishers are rethinking the wisdom of running those features from Outbrain and Taboola, huh? Too late, in my opinion, they have already lost a lot of readers thanks to those features, which pay a few pennies in order to junk up their websites.

These business promise publishers to pay them some incremental pennies (rarely dollars) for the right to place clickbait on their websites. Why do publishers go along? My own theory is that this is where having journalists make these decisions really kills a news organization. For whatever reason, journalists believe their readers can differentiate between their own content and this junk. It is nonsensical – because if they could, they would not click on the clickbait and so the services would not do their designated job of driving revenue. If they can’t, that means that all the content is seen as coming from the main news brand.

It may be harsh to say, but where these services find real estate, those news brands deserve the fate that awaits them. Don’t tell me about the superior journalism being created at a news site that gladly serves up the headline “What Marcia Brady Looks Like Now Is Incredible:”.

The New York Times:

Publishers Are Rethinking Those ‘Around the Web’ Ads

You see them everywhere, and maybe, sometimes, you click: those rows of links under web articles, often augmented with eye-catching photos and curiosity-stoking headlines about the latest health tips, celebrity news or ways to escape financial stress.

…But now, some publishers are wondering about the effect these so-called content ads may be having on their brands and readers. This month, these ads stopped appearing on Slate. And The New Yorker, which restricted placement of such ads to its humor articles, recently removed them from its website altogether.

Among the reasons: The links can lead to questionable websites, run by unknown entities. Sometimes the information they present is false. Recently Chandler Riggs, an actor on “The Walking Dead,” posted screenshots on Twitter of two such ads — “Young Actors Who Quietly Passed Away This Year” and “Young TV Star Found Dead” — featuring a photo of his face.

Oh goodie, Hearst is bringing its advertorials to television. Can’t wait.

I guess this about A+E Networks wanting to get into the native advertising game, but not wanting to hire a staff to do it, so working through a third party – in this case, Hearst Magazines. It might also be the case that Hearst is shoving this down the throat of A+E Networks as Hearst is a joint owner of the network. In any case, more ad-driven content is coming to TV. Wasteland, indeed.


A+E Networks Expands Its Branded Content With Hearst Magazines Digital Deal

A+E Networks and Hearst Magazines Digital Media (HMDM) are teaming up for Hearst-produced branded content videos, which will air on A&E, Lifetime, History, Viceland and FYI. Hearst jointly owns A+E Networks with Disney-ABC Television Group, but A+E’s digital properties are not aligned with HMDM.

The companies are looking to partner with brands on branded content videos—spotlighting themes like lifestyle, outdoor or food—which will run alongside traditional ad spots. The partnership will also include articles, galleries, ads and social media on various HMDM properties, including the sites for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Good Housekeeping and Delish. No advertisers have signed onto the new campaign yet, said A+E Networks.

“This partnership allows us to amplify an advertiser’s narrative beyond our own distribution network,” said Todd Haskell, svp and chief revenue officer, HMDM, in a statement.

This may go down as the best editorial endorsement of the cycle. The Virginia newspaper, The Roanoke Times, decided to make an endorsement for governor. The twist is that it is the North Carolina governor’s race. They want the incumbent, Pat McCrory, to win because he is doing such a great job of driving jobs away from his state to Virginia thanks to his culture war legislation. Not mentioned, is that state’s efforts to suppress the vote of African-Americans in the state.

The editorial caught the attention of The Charlotte Observer, which ran that portion of the editorial in full under the headline “Virginia paper endorses Pat McCrory, thanks him, HB2, for sending jobs that way.”

The Roanoke Times:

Our view: Ballot selfies and other election thoughts

Which candidate would do the most to help our local economy? That’s easy. It’s Pat McCrory, the Republican governor of North Carolina, who’s seeking his second four-year term in the November election. We can point to specific and multiple ways he has helped the economy — our economy. North Carolina panicked and made a spectacle of itself by passing HB2, its so-called “bathroom bill.” In response, various companies and even sports leagues pulled events from the state. Three of those have wound up in Salem — the NCAA Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships, as well as the Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championship. That’s money in the bank for us…

…Feel free to argue all you want which presidential candidate would be best, but it’s clear that Virginia would be best served if North Carolina re-elected McCrory.

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