Local papers rely on local advertisers to survive. This truth has become even more evident as revenue falls across the industry, which makes this story about New Jersey’s The Record all the more inspiring in the age old battle between editors and publishers.
The paper, owned by North Jersey Media Group, got the scoop about how Hackensack University Medical Center board members were using their political to gain construction contracts and other monetary benefits. After hearing The Record planned to publish the article, hospital administration called up and threatened to pull advertising from the paper’s Web site and NJMG’s other local papers. Editors remained steadfast, however, and the story ran the last Sunday in April.
“It’s pretty obvious [hospital administrators] thought they were going to hurt us very, very badly,” Malcolm A. Borg, chairman of the North Jersey Media Group, told The New York Times.
Justice, however, was served.
The Record ran a story about the hospital’s reaction to the article, prompting board members to call and apologize to Borg. Furthermore, the hospital reversed its decision to pull advertising.
Perhaps ASME, which keeps dishing out wrist slaps to publications that violate its advertising policies, should take note.