The mass media does not only publish news but is a medium for advertising. For the industry, advertising is as important as the news, for it is the main means of revenue. In the recent Catholic Times, a one-time editor continues to instruct the readers on fake advertising.
Of course, the DNA of news content and advertising are different. Advertising is a commercial interest and the news is of public interest. They have opposite qualities but have a symbiotic relationship in that they need each other.
Consequently, both have to be accompanied by news ethics and advertising ethics. The Internet Newspaper Ethics Committee considers both equally important.
Nowadays, fake news is often filled with fake advertising. Articles are made to pass as news when they are advertising for a company or product. Even the name of the reporter is disguised. With the expansion of digital media, the advertising revenue of newspapers and other media has decreased. Fake news covering all kinds of subjects such as recreation, hospitals, cosmetics, travel, automobiles, contain camouflaged advertising. No indication we are reading an 'advertisement'.
A few years ago, one of the famous daily newspapers in an article used to advertise on the internet was believed by the readers and the goods were ordered. Not receiving the goods the victims sued the companies as fraudulent and won the lawsuit against three newspapers that posted the same article.
The newspaper advertising code of ethics consists of four sections. The first one is "newspaper advertising should benefit the reader and be trusted." Also, the following three prohibited contents: "unscientific or superstitious", "speculation", "untrustworthy enterprises".
In addition to the article type advertisement, the ethics committee frequently punishes 'fake advertisements as 'unscientific or superstitious advertisement'. It still means that unscientific or superstitious advertising is doing well. It is surprising when we think about the educational and cultural level of our people, but they advertise what is still in demand.
If we see the titles of the ads that the Korean Newspaper Ethics Committee has filed for disciplinary measures in the last three months as unscientific or superstitious we will easily understand what is meant. Solving all your marriage problems, employment, passing tests, business prosperity and all kinds of health problems with groundless, unreliable solutions.
Of course, readers and viewers have different levels of credibility about news and advertising. Unlike news, however, most people understand that with advertising a considerable amount of exaggeration and even falsity is included. Even so, to delude persons who are in a state of desperation and looking for anything to help, this approach is wrong-headed. The same is true for large daily newspapers, which boast of their history and tradition and continue to display such advertisements.