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Exploring Advertorials in Television News
Product Placement vs. Professionalism of News Reporting
In recent years, external economic influences from advertising agencies, rather than political influences from government or political parties, on media content have produced greater effects than before. Thus, adding alternative perspectives to the study on influences on news content, this research focuses on economic power in general and advertising in particular, instead of political power, on media like before. This study employs two research methods, questionnaire survey and focus group discussion, to collect required data for analysis. Questionnaire survey of journalists of television stations is conducted to discover current reality of advertising influences on news content production. Meanwhile, focus group discussion is organized to explore negative influences of advertorials on professionalism and autonomy of media, and if possible, to propose suggestions of regulations. Overall, this study concludes that advertorials appeared in television news are getting popular and acceptable in Taiwan among television news reporters. Even though advertorials are against professionalism of news reporting, more than half of television reporters surveyed are voluntarily willing to produce advertorials under major consideration of financial pressure on their media.
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