Report: Globe and Mail wants journalists to write branded content

Canadaland | The Canadian Journalism Project

Executives at The Globe and Mail “want to monetize the integrity and reputations of The Globe and Mail’s journalists,” according to a union memo obtained by Jesse Brown at Canadaland. Unifor, which represents journalists at The Globe and Mail, says managers want “content creators” at the news organization “to write or produce advertiser sponsored ‘branded content’ (i.e. native advertising) that is vetted by the advertiser prior to publication and held out to readers as staff-written content.”

Poynter contacted several people at the Globe and Mail for comment with no luck so far. A Unifor spokesperson said on Wednesday she would look into the document’s provenance.

The memo includes text from company negotiators, which distinguishes between “Advertorial” (i.e., “work that is always approved by the advertiser and is always about the advertiser”) and “Branded Content” (“Print and digital content that is approved by the advertiser but is not about the advertiser”).

“Content Creators” won’t be asked to work on branded content that impinges on their beats, Globe and Mail management proposes, and they say the following test will “protect the integrity of The Globe and its employees”:

After the advertiser has reviewed it, the Content Creator has a right to pull the assignment if they believe that a conflict of interest exists with regard to changes that the advertiser has made. If there is a conflict of interest, the assignment will be pulled. If not, the assignment will be printed/posted.

Tamara Baluja reported Sunday that Unifor said in a bulletin that The Globe wants “its management to have the right to assign editorial employees to write and edit advertorial copy as part of their regular duties.”

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