Should journalism worry about content marketing? That’s the question posed by the in-depth cover story in the Nov/Dec issue of the Columbia Journalism Review: Wolf at the Door.
Author Michael Meyer examines the content marketing efforts being conducted on behalf of many well-known consumer brands and compares what they do to traditional journalism.
“Everyone I talked to for this piece seems to agree that some essential distinction between journalism and content marketing needs to be preserved, but no one agrees on exactly what that distinction should be.” Meyer takes a look at content marketing being done by NestlÃ© Purina PetCareâ€™s team, Chipotle, and others. It is a very good look at today’s publishing environment: “content marketing,” “native advertising,” “branded journalism,” etc.
“As content marketers grow more sophisticated, they will continue to adopt the trappings of journalism if not the journalistic mission, creating a world in which more and more content looks and feels the same but in fact isnâ€™t,” writes Meyer. “The truth is, weâ€™ve always been out there in the information landscape on our own, choosing what to trust and what to ignore. The difference now is that there are fewer distinct features, fewer landmarks to guide us. Instead, we have labels. The landscape is flattening, and flattening fast.”