I'm in the business of misery. In the current issue of "Journalisten" (the magazine published by the Swedish Union of Journalists) there is a short article about two interns at Avesta Tidnings advertising department who were asked to leave because they had been illojal to the paper. Their crime?
The two students were offended by derogatory comments about homosexuals made by two members of staff and wrote about it on their blog. The students witheld the names of the culprits but the ad department was still offended.
The girls removed the comment from their blog but were not allowed to finish their internship.
In this case, the head honchos at the ad department did the wrong thing. It was obviously more important to protect homophobic egos on the staff than making sure the company has a healthy working environment. Illojal to the company, yeah right!
As someone who works for the non-commersial side of newspapers I have had my share of run-ins with the ad department. Personally, I write for the readers and not the advertisers.
I have been forced to write articles for the advertisers at previous jobs, but I don't like it. I have no problem with straight up things like writing a press release or ad copy, where it is obvious to the reader that what you have in front of you is promo material or an ad.
At many papers there is tension between editorial and advertising, and there is constant arguing over which department is more essential to the survival of the paper.
What is more important to you? That you can trust what you read in your local newspaper or that everyone who buys ad space is satisfied with what we write about their them?