Monday, 11 February 2013

Don't fear the Advertorial

When I came to Crecomm it was because I knew how much I enjoy writing. To be honest I didn't know exactly what I would be writing on a week to week basis while in the program but just wanted to learn as many forms of writing as possible. I had spent years writing 1,000- 4,000 word essays in University and that is why I knew I had some talent at it and wanted to pursue it.

Last week in journalism class, we got an assignment that was totally different than anything else we have done.

The advertorial assignment was, in many ways, trying to get us to combine the skills of a journalist with the skills of a copywriter. I enjoyed ad class last year so for me I ended up enjoying the  advertorial assignment. We have done so many journalism assignment with very similar specifications that this was a chance to remember what it is like to do a copywriter's job and do something totally different. I also found it a challenege because I have never done anything like this before and really had to work at figuring out what the tone of the work should be.

Although I was totally fine with the assignment, I believe some of my classmates were not. I completely understand that people came to Crecomm to be journalists and journalism has a set of standards, but I think it is very clear that we are doing advertising here so I am not completely sure what the problem is. I almost feel like some thought they were above this sort of work, but don't really understand that way of thinking. As second year J students still working towards our diplomas do we honestly think that somehow we are too good for this?

Advertorials is definitely not what I want to do when I leave Crecomm, but I did come hear to learn about as many different forms of communication as possible. Whether people like it or not this is something that newspapers are doing in the on-going battle to stay profitable and who are we to tell newspapers how to run their business?

I've tried to stay away from the idealistic discussion about what is and isn't real journalsim. It seems to sprout up a lot in class. However in this case, I fully understand that Advertorials are not real journalism, but I think advertorials understand that about themselves too.

In the end we researched a company, wrote about them in a advertising tone and handed it in, so really- what's the big deal?