I have a bachelor's degree in journalism. If I met my former
classmates, they would frown at my career in marketing, thinking that I had
gone on the dark side of force, so to speak.
I think they're wrong. In my mind, journalism and marketing are not quite
different. What changes is the audience and the product. Let's face it, the
more papers a story sells – or the more viewers a TV newscast gets – the more successful
the journalist seems to be. And if a newspaper does not have enough readers,
the content is the first to be blamed.
Marketing and journalism are about reaching out to people
For the marketer, the audience is the
clients, actual, and future, for the product we are selling. We want our
clients to know about our company and our product, or at least interest them
enough so that they will check it out.
Journalists want to reach their market as well, except they call it an
audience. They're still the same humans, and what they provide is information
and opinion. Journalists want to reach people so that they will read the next
paragraph or stay on the TV channel during the commercial break.
Good marketing and good journalism have strong ethics
Both in journalism and marketing, there are dishonest people who will
manipulate their audience into a specific frame of mind, to form the desired
However, both good journalists and good marketers will achieve this without
hiding the truth or presenting opinions as facts. A marketer who believes in
her product doesn’t need to fabricate facts to convince her clients to buy her
product. The same way, a journalist who believes in fair and balanced reporting
is not out to promote an agenda and will publish her article, even if the facts
are not how she expected them to be.
Marketing and journalism are about selling
It's pretty obvious that marketing is about selling: selling a product,
selling sympathy to orphans in the third world, selling an idea. If there is nothing
to sell, there would be no marketing. Now, not everything is bought with money.
In politics, marketers are trying to get people's votes, not their money.
On the other end, it's not always obvious that journalists are also selling
something: their media. Let's face it, without newspapers sales and
advertisement sales, there would be no news.