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The separation of editorial content and advertising was drilled into most of our heads at a young age — that ?rst journalism school class, that ?rst crusty night city editor. The credibility of the news, forever challenged, would seem to be deeply wounded if something that looks like an article is up for sale.
And yet it’s hard to ?nd a major news company that isn’t looking to native as an important part of their business strategy in 2014. Like it or not, native advertising is here to stay — no longer reserved for digital natives (Gawker, BuzzFeed, Quartz) and a few traditional outlets with an edgier digital presence (Forbes, The Atlantic).
And, as David Ogilvy foretold, there hasn’t been much sign of public resentment, much less a public revolt. There have been a few PR missteps — The Atlantic’s sponsored puff piece about the Church of Scientology last year comes to mind — but thousands of other native ads have been published to a collective audience yawn. Is it possible that what readers care about and what journalists care about aren’t always the same thing? Wouldn’t be the ?rst time.
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