FNPI moderates Twitter debate over the relationship between advertising and journalism

The dismissal of Colombian journalist Daniel Pardo from the online magazine Kien&Ke for publishing an opinion piece about the Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales' influence on the country's media has generated controversy since it was first announced in October.

Several media outlets have presented their own analyses of the affair. The website La Silla Vacía included a time line in its report that demonstrates the oil company's media coverage during the last three years.

On Nov. 16, the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation's (FNPI in Spanish) Ethics Board conducted a "Twitter debate" on the influence of advertising on the media's editorial policy.

During the hour, users were invited to respond to questions like: Can advertising become a way to undercut journalistic accusations? How can media companies keep their investigative work from becoming influenced by the the advertisements they show? How should the media balance the necessary relationship between advertisers and the press? What is the correct way to identify a publicity report as an advertisement?

Some participants tweeted that advertisers' influence on the media is obvious. Others said there was little a reporter could do when an order comes down from the company's management.

Follow part of the conversation below in Spanish:

After the debate, FNPI's Ethics Board selected what it considered the best answers from the debate. Selected responses dealt with the ethics of public relations and advertising, what to do when commercial and journalistic interests conflict and how much responsibility the media has for the advertising it runs, among others.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.