Inga Saffron shared a post on her Facebook page today that sums up the disgusting state of mainstream journalism today. At least with tabloids, we know we're getting crap. That's why we read them. But when someone picks up a copy of the Inquirer, goes to Philly.com, or even grabs a Philadelphia Magazine, you expect at least an elementary level of journalistic ethics.
Journals routinely conduct surveys, ones that tell us where to eat, where to get drunk, and where to get laid. They tell us which cities are the ugliest, the healthiest, and the poorest. Unless it states "This is a Paid Advertisement" at the bottom of the page we assume, however bias, it's based on something.
Apparently USA Today solicited Philadelphia's Fleisher School to participate in its upcoming "Best of Philly" spread. The kicker? USA Today wanted money.
I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise. Sure, it's certainly unscrupulous for a newspaper to solicit a bribe, but after asking where journalistic integrity had gone, I asked myself, "is USA Today still around?"
Let's face it. Gannett's USA Today newspaper boxes are a few shorts years away from being excavated alongside dinosaur droppings and phone books. I guess I'm more shocked that they'd be so open about this unethical journalism than the fact that it actually takes place.