'Post' 'salons' start discussion over media events

The Washington Post has cancelled its proposed “salons” series, which would have allowed DC insiders the chance to meet the newspaper’s journalists and other influentials...

The Washington Post has cancelled its proposed “salons” series, which would have allowed DC insiders the chance to meet the newspaper’s journalists and other influentials at closed events. However, the controversy has ignited a greater debate about the role of events as a revenue stream for media outlets - which need money, to say the least.

Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli told his own newspaper that multiple sponsors would have made the dinners acceptable. “We don’t do single sponsorship of content in the newspaper… whether in print or at a conference, when the news department is involved, we decide the topic and we decide how to create the content," he said.

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, argued that point is moot, saying, “newspapers owe their first allegiance to the public.”

“In this case, The Washington Post would be arranging events that only insiders have access to and profiting from these events,” he said, according to the Post’s story on the event. “It’s fundamentally antithetical to what news organizations do.”

What’s your opinion on the issue? Should media outlets hold sponsored events, and how should they do so? If not, how else do they create additional revenue?

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