Good journalist, bad blogger? A study on the labeling of paid content in blogs and journalism

Olaf Hoffjann 1  and Oliver Haidukiewicz 2
  • 1 University of Bamberg, Institute of Communication Studies, Bamberg, Germany
  • 2 Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Institute for Public Communication, Salzgitter, Germany
Olaf Hoffjann and Oliver Haidukiewicz

Abstract

This study examines whether journalists and bloggers label paid content. In Germany, as in many other countries, advertorials have to be designated as advertising to enable the target audience to identify the promotional character of the content. This applies both to the traditional mass media and to blogs, for which advertorials provide a key source of income. To date, there have been no empirical findings on the designation practice based on a comparison of journalists and bloggers. The present study presents an online survey in Germany completed by 936 journalists and 463 bloggers in 2017. The results indicate that, in fact, bloggers do not label advertorials less frequently than journalists do: 91.6 % of bloggers and 91.7 % of journalists stated that they label paid content as advertising.

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