I spend too much time reading media blogs, predominantly American, because that’s where the most interesting things are happening.
While Irish newspapers still fret about paywalls, there are already lots of new revenue models in the Land of the Free, from freemuims and leaky paywalls to digital first, web-only, and (in rare cases) paper-only products.
Lately, the discussions have been on the ethics of sponsored content. And among the debates have been exactly what to call it. To some, it’s just advertising, a commercial feature, spruced up by calling it “native advertising” or “branded journalism”.
But sponsored content runs a gamut from a Buzzfeed list of 21 Fun Facts About Brand X to the Texas Tribune’s proposed TribTalk, essentially opinion pieces paid for by their authors.
Which got me thinking, that this seems to be one area at least where Ireland isn’t lagging.
A quick check of the Irish Times Opinion & Analysis section turns up columns by a gay rights activist, a priest, two academics and a city planner. Over at the Independent you can read articles by a minister and a backbench TD.
And that’s before we get to regular columnists with sectoral interests, like the Iona klatch.