The Orange County Register may be the broker for Anaheim for corporate sponsorship of its new transportation hub, and would receive a cut of the proceeds. The mayor of Anaheim is appalled.
“Not only do I question the need for such an agreement, I have serious concerns about creating a financial partnership with our local newspaper, which also serves as a watchdog for the citizens over matters at City Hall,” said the mayor.
Media ethics experts reached for comment said they have never heard of such an arrangement, and that it has the potential to damage the Register newsroom’s credibility.
OC Register management countered criticism saying “Our unfolding world of 24/7 news requires bold new solutions, transcending tired, antiquated, and artificial divisions between commerce and journalism,” adding that they plan, in a new fee-based program, to allow advertisers with “stakeholder interest in local issues” to write editorials and provide “guidance” in the choice of news stories.
(Ok, I made up that last paragraph but I bet you weren’t sure..)