From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.
PR industry filling vacuum left by shrinking newsrooms
Posted May 6, 2011
John Sullivan Special to ProPublica
"The muscles of journalism are weakening and the muscles of public relations are bulking up—as if they were on steroids." As PR becomes ascendant, private and government interests become more able to generate, filter, distort, and dominate the public debate, and to do so without the public knowing it.
I want to help TucsonSentinel.com offer a real news alternative!
We're committed to making quality news accessible; we'll never set up a paywall or charge for our site. But we rely on your support to bring you independent news without the spin. Use our convenient PayPal/credit card donation form below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Subscribe and stretch your donation over time:
Or give a secure one-time gift with PayPal or your credit card:
TucsonSentinel.com is an Arizona nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible.
Please be respectful and relevant. Thought-provoking. Or at least funny.
We want comments to advance the discussion and we need your help. Debate, disagree, yell (digitally) or laugh, but do it with respect.
We won't censor your comments if we don't agree with you; we want viewpoints from across the political spectrum. We're dedicated to sparking an open, active discussion. We believe people with differing opinions can spark debate and effect change.
Comments are open to registered users of TucsonSentinel.com.
Keep in mind:
A conversation involves sharing and respect. Support your viewpoint with facts, not attacks.
Ask questions. Search out answers.
Remember that being part of a community requires tolerance for differing views.
We can't ensure that all comments are based in truth. The only comments we endorse are those we write ourselves.
TucsonSentinel.com does not allow:
Hate speech. Blatantly racist, sexist or homophobic slurs or calls for violence against a particular type of person, etc. will be removed.
Obscenity & excessive cursing. Sometimes a well-placed curse word - if you're creative enough to get it past our auto-censor - can express your point in just the right way. But we say '%*$& no' to cursing for cursing's sake. And lose the explicit sexually-descriptive language. It doesn't contribute to the debate and there are plenty of other places on the Internet to find it.
Flaming. During a heated discussion, unkind words may be spoken. We can live with a certain amount of rudeness in the name of provocative conversation, but a pattern of personal attacks (name-calling, mocking, or baiting) is not acceptable nor are threatening or harassing comments. Show some respect, please.
Explicit political endorsements. As a nonprofit we can't allow electioneering. Analysis and explanation of political issues and candidates are encouraged, but specific calls to vote for or against a measure or politician should be done elsewhere.
Spam. Solicitation of products or services isn't allowed; contact us about advertising, we'd love to talk to you. Links to off-topic sites may be deleted.
Copyright or IP infringement. Lengthy quotes and violations of 'Fair Use' aren't allowed. Anything you post should be your own work.
Overposting. Don't bore people and waste electrons with identical comments on multiple stories or repetitive comments that don't advance a conversation.
Trolling, sockpuppetry, and other abusive behavior. Please don't feed the trolls and don't pretend to be someone you're not.
Gossip. Don't bring up others who can't defend themselves. We don't give out personal information; you shouldn't either.
Comments that violate these guidelines may be removed. We reserve the right to make up the rules as we go along.
Commentors are solely responsible for the opinions they express and the accuracy of the information they provide. Users who violate these standards may lose their privileges on TucsonSentinel.com.
Sentinel editors can't read every comment. Trolls, spammers and other troublemakers can slide under the bridge. We rely on you to help maintain a healthy conversation - more than likely, you're reading these comments before the editors.
What if you see something inappropriate? Use the 'Flag' button to send it to a moderation queue. Help us out and tell us why you're reporting it; please don't report someone just because you disagree with them. Boy who cried wolf and all that. We'll take appropriate action on violations.
We will not edit comments to alter their meaning or censor comments because of political content.
We will not remove comments solely because they are heartless, cruel, coarse, foolish or just plain wrong. Your disapproval can maintain a decent signal to noise ratio. Ultimately, however, self-policing is the best method.