Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why does journalism have to be so negative?

I often hear the comment “Why does journalism have to be so negative? Journalists never write about the good stuff.”

This can be taken to unbelievable extremes, even given the best publicity.

At one point, we placed a huge, front-page article with two photographs in the business section of the local daily newspaper. Yet, instead of understanding how valuable the publicity was, the client became incensed with one word he didn’t like.

Editors and reporters don’t expect the downside in pitches or press releases, but the public expects it in articles because it shows both sides.

The editorial submission guidelines of Health Management Technologies, written by the publisher Ken Anderberg, puts it this way:

Articles that include ‘warts’—or negatives about the subject—become more believable because the warts provide a dose of realism and truth that says to the reader, "We are presenting the problems associated with this solution, as well as the benefits." The article immediately becomes more believable, as a result.

Clients often are reluctant to do this or to include competitors in articles. Without these, credibility goes by the wayside.

For more information, call us at 916. 455.4790 or check out our website at