Content marketing and traditional journalism merging into one? A controversy for journalists

Contently and many journalists have claimed that “brand journalism” does not exist and is independent. I agree to an extent but believe the merge of brand journalism is very much just traditional journalism. They are both very similar just have different ways to approaching the story. A popular journalist, Jill Golden said, “journalism should be agenda-less, agnostic and objective. Journalists should cover both sides of a story, giving the audience a clear, accurate and unbiased account.” I think her perspective describes why brand journalism is becoming controversial because the brand could be biased while writing any content.

First off, brand journalism and content marketing differ in the way their information is provided. Content marketing is a way to almost advertise for a brand by putting out relevant content to a targeted audience. Journalism is a way to inform people about current events and things happening in their community. When most people think journalism, they think newspapers or online websites for news that creates articles not necessarily a brand. In the end, brand journalism is about business and traditional journalism is about providing needed information. Very similar, yet quite different.

Why the controversy? More and more corporations are starting use content marketing strategies in creating their own content for their websites or media outlets which is kind of taking away content for media outlets. We know the newspaper is beginning to be less popular, but this controversy could cause traditional journalism to become less popular as well. In the eye of a traditional journalist this may look like trouble but for a content marketer they might see it as a good way to expand their business.

Ultimately the two are very similar and it comes down to story telling. “All content is created by real people. If that content is transparent in terms of source and agenda, then it’s real. Whether or not it’s “journalism” is not really important,” another quote said by Joe Pulizzi that sums up the two. All stories are told by people and those people could represent a newspaper or brand but its just a story in the end.