London’s Evening Standard newspaper sold favorable coverage to a number of companies, including tech giants Google and Uber, according to a report published by the watchdog group openDemocracy.
London’s Evening Standard newspaper, edited by the former chancellor George Osborne, has agreed a £3 million deal with six leading commercial companies, including Google and Uber, promising them “money-can’t-buy” positive news and “favourable” comment coverage, openDemocracy can reveal.
The project, called London 2020, is being directed by Osborne. It effectively sweeps away the conventional ethical divide between news and advertising inside the Standard – and is set to include “favourable” news coverage of the firms involved, with readers unable to differentiate between “news” that is paid-for and other commercially-branded content.
According to the watchdog group, the Evening Standard plans to run “unbranded stories”, written by staff reporters, which are nonetheless “paid for by the new commercial ‘partners.'”
Although the 2020 campaigns will involve branded, native and advertorial pages, along with public debates hosted by the Standard, the six partners have also been promised the Standard will carry “money-can’t-buy” positive news and “favourable” comment pieces that will appear to readers as routine, independently written editorial.
Read the full report at openDemocracy.