Journalists have a tenuous relationship with advertising in that they thoroughly despise it yet are utterly dependent upon it for their survival.
99.9 percent of all American journalism is advertising supported and the .1 percent that isn’t will be going out of business soon because it isn’t able to sell ads. This is largely due to the fact that most Americans are willing to pay $75 per week to fill up giant SUVs at a gas station and will drop several thousand dollars a year on skyrocketing health care costs, but refuse to pay any substantial amount of money to be informed. Therefore, news organizations must find funding from somewhere else.
Television, radio and print media reach large audiences that include almost everyone in a community. Therefore, the news business is attractive to advertisers. Or at least it was until the Internet came along and companies forgot that advertising is about branding, loyalty and customers seeing a brand over and over again until they associate them with a product. Instead, advertisers became consumed with click-thru ratios and how much business they got from an isolated ad on a website.
While many journalists equate advertising with the devil himself, he is the devil they know and they will dance with him for as long as he continues to pay the bills. The journalist will insist that there is a wall between advertising and editorial content and that advertising does not impact news coverage at all. From the journalist’s perspective this is largely true.
However, above that journalist sits an executive who makes the final decision on which stories air or get published who also has a relationship with the advertisers and their money.
Full disclosure: As you can see, this guide is supported by advertising, as there is no better way to pay the bills and we know our visitors would never pay a dime for the frivolity contained herein.