The Visual Boundaries of Journalism: Native Advertising and the Convergence of Editorial and Commercial Content

Raul Ferrer-Conill*, Erik Knudsen, Corinna Lauerer, Aviv Barnoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates the visual objects that are used to either disclose or disguise the commercial nature of native advertising as news articles. We adopt a "material object" approach to explore the potential implications for journalism regarding transparency, trust, and credibility. Methodologically, this study used content analysis covering 21 publications in five countries: Germany, Israel, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. We analysed 373 individual native ads. The findings show that news outlets do not follow a consistent way to disclose native ads visually, negotiating the balance between transparency and deception. In this balance, news organizations do not boldly push for transparency and instead remain ambiguous. Our analyses show that both national and organizational characteristics matter when shaping the visual boundaries of journalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-951
Number of pages23
JournalDigital Journalism
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Research programs

  • ESHCC M&C

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