The second third of Paul Heintz’ “Fair Game” column delivered a bombshell for those of us who follow — and root for — our dwindling media sector.
The Burlington Free Press has begun to — not once, but routinely — publish bespoke content written by interested parties, formatted and presented as if it were actual news.
Recently I caught one instance of this disturbing trend: the Free Press ran an article on the Q Burke Resort (before it was de-Q’d) — written by the resort’s PR person. It ran as a news story; the writer’s affiliation was not identified until a small note at the end of the piece.
The timing was unfortunate, since the article was published only a few days before the SEC came swooping down on the Stenger/Quiros operation.
What Heintz has done goes way beyond my isolated discovery. He runs down a lengthy list of articles, formatted and presented as news, in space supposedly reserved for journalism, that were provided by interested third parties.