Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is Blogger's 'Cushy' Job Journalism?

USO concert aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ha...Image via Wikipedia

Few would challenge the journalism credentials of novelist and long-time columnist Dan Gearino, formerly of The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). Still, his current venture in "corporate-sponsored journalism" may add to the sleepless nights traditional mainstream journalists are experiencing these days.

Gearino is blogging "Stephenville Dreams," which chronicles small-town life in Stephenville, TX (pop. 15,000). The blog is the social media arm of a marketing campaign by the Carpenter Co., makers of pillow and mattress pad cushioning, and is featured on the company's consumer Website, www.SleepBetter.org. The marketing campaign also encompasses "Lullaby," the latest release by country artist and Stephenville resident Jewel.

Though Carpenter embraces mattress covers, Gearino insists he doesn't cover mattresses or otherwise shill the company's products or do its bidding insofar as what he writes about. Still, it seems as if Gearino, a freelancer, has found himself a comfy corporate patron and given new meaning to the term "embedded journalist."
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