Thursday, April 18, 2019

A to Z Challenge - P for Plug

Theme - Journalism jargons
A news item is said to be a 'plug' when it has been sugarcoated (especially by a publicity agent) to make it look newsworthy and efforts are made to convince a journalist to run the story.

Such news items are generally one-sided with the aim of gaining publicity, and often with commercial benefits accruing from the publication of the news. They are usually advertisements in the garb of news items.

EXAMPLE OF A GYM

Imagine there is a new gym coming up, and its owners are interested in spreading the word. There is a general impression that when something appears as a news item it carries more credibility rather than when it appears as an advertisement.

So, the owners will be more interested in reaching out to local journalists and talking to them about the gym, with the hope of getting the gym covered in the media, as a news item.

But then there has to be something newsy about the gym. So, the owner's publicity agents will talk about the great equipment they have, how they help customers to stay healthy and fit etc.

However, in reality, that's what all good gyms anyway do, right?

Additionally, the gym is a commercial venture and not a charitable initiative; which means, any publicity would also have a commercial spinoff to it.

A news item on the gym can appear only if it's really one of a kind, and they are doing something pathbreaking. Otherwise, a news item on it would qualify as a plug.

FAKE NEWS

What is dangerous is journalists being provided disinformation under the garb that it is real and true. Miscreants can go to any devious lengths to spread such falsehoods in order to achieve some goals.

Good journalists are always aware of such traps, and they do a lot of fact-checking to ensure the veracity of the data and the newsworthiness of it.

(This post is a part of the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2019".)


7 comments:

  1. Okay so that's where plugging it comes from in everyday convos - how interesting!

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  2. Interesting information. Just like "beware the fine print", we should beware of the sponsored news.

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  3. Hopefully readers can figure out it's just a plug, too. Sometimes it's obvious.

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  4. @ Nilanjana - I guess so. I have also heard 'plant' being used as a synonym of 'plug'.

    @ Rajan - Yes ... Increasingly the thin line between advertisement/PR and news is blurring.

    @ Liz - Very true!

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  5. @ Nilanjana - I guess so. I have also heard 'plant' being used as a synonym of 'plug'.

    @ Rajan - Yes ... Increasingly the thin line between advertisement/PR and news is blurring.

    @ Liz - Very true!

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  6. True, while reading some news that is published with the aim of commercial benefit,the veracity of it sometimes hangs a question mark in the mind.
    Good info.

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