Freedom of Expression and Press

Clearer division between journalism and advertising needed

The Deutsche Journalisten Verband (DJV) has called for rules on the clear division between journalism and advertising to be more rigorously enforced.

DJV calls for clearer division between journalism and advertising © ferkelraggae-Fotolia

DJV calls for clearer division between journalism and advertising © ferkelraggae-Fotolia

Press code of conduct

The press code of conduct should apply to all forms of media, says DJV chairman Michael Konken.

DJV stressed the importance of the regulations on the strict division between journalism and advertising after accusations surrounding Focus Online arose.

Journalism and advertising together in columns?

Tahssin Asfour, owner of a berlin-based PR agency, writes an advice column for the online edition of the magazine in which he is able to advertise for his clients, the DJV reports.

The association critics that many readers are unaware of this dual function, as Asfour appears as a guest author and his contributions are not labelled as advertising.

Konken stated, “When Focus Online permits columnists to advertise as part of their advice, then the website is damaging its own credibility.”

The DJV argues that people who visit webpages offering quality journalism, do so to view independent editorial content and that product placement has no place on such pages.

Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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