As a Fleet Street journalist who trains PROs to write winning press releases by making them as close to a newspaper story as it's possible to get, I'd argue the churnalism site ('PR industry hits out at Churnalism.com site', prweek.com/uk, 2 March) might sometimes compliment the ones who achieve this.
... but journalists should write balanced articles
In time, Churnalism.com and similar efforts will be seen as a call to action for PR professionals to ensure the work they produce is done so ethically ... For the most part, I believe that to be the case.
PROs' value largely derives from their credibility with the media, their clients and the public. But this is a symbiotic relationship. Journalists have a significant role to play in due diligence to ensure the articles they write include third-party validation from sources other than those given to them by PR professionals. Perhaps Churnalism.com will cause PROs and journalists to look at our collective work and see whether we are truly helping to expand society's collective knowledge ...
The media need time to focus on exclusives
There are two types of news that an online news site can get - commodity stories and exclusives. A news desk could spend large amounts of time attempting to write a unique take on a commodity story. But wouldn't that be a huge waste of time? Wouldn't a news site do better to take such a story from the newswire, put it in the house style and publish it speedily online, and then dedicate as many resources as possible towards the exclusives?