Contest over authority: Navigating native advertising’s impacts on journalism autonomy
Communication, Media and Theatre Arts
This study explores how editors and business executives discursively renegotiated the boundary of authority in the wave of integrating native advertising at nine US publishers across five years. The findings demonstrate an overwhelmingly pro-business voice that legitimized native advertising as an innovation to increase revenue, advertisers’ interest, audience engagement, and even editorial quality. By contrast, the pro-editorial voice that resisted the integration inside the organizations was scattered and muted and gradually turned into a collaboration with the business side, while the industrial debate remained critical and unsettled on editorial involvement in content marketing. The dilution of the editorial–business boundary in those organizations suggests that journalistic autonomy was lessened from within—the autonomous force of journalism submitted authority to the heteronomous force of journalism.
Link to Published Version
Li, Y. (2019). Contest over authority: Navigating native advertising’s impacts on journalism autonomy. Journalism Studies, 20(4), 523–541. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2017.1397531