The N&O is selling, at five bucks a pop, special “suitable for framing” copies of its post-inauguration front page. It’s also got a fine selection of Obama photos for sale. And in case anyone has missed the many promos in the paper and on the N&O’s web site, the paper even published a short article about its offerings. (In the advertising world this is called “editorial support,” and retailers would kill for it.)
This is, of course, an Obama-specific venture. His ascension to the presidency is a groundbreaking event, and the N&O is simply taking profitable advantage of the moment. There would have been no similar financial windfall in the election of John McCain because he’s just another old white guy. (And anyone who thinks the N&O would have celebrated the history-making election of Sarah Palin as vice president by selling such keepsakes is deluded.)
In an email to Gearino, N&O publisher John Drescher explains it's about making money so the N&O can employ as many journalists as possible.
“I want to employ as many journalists as possible. I am all for our advertising, circulation and marketing staffs taking content from the paper and selling it. We want to do more of this, not less. Over the years, we’ve sold posters for sporting events, as well as other big stories (for example, we sold posters of the Wright Flyer)... "
Is selling Obama merchandise a conflict of interest for the Truth to Power people at McClatchy? Yes: Obama has become a profit center for McClatchy, which calls into question whether you can trust their reporting on the Obama administration. And I have a hunch it alienates nearly 50 percent of McClatchy's subscriber base.
Hat tip: Archer05
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