When Newsweek ran an article naming Grand Rapids one of America’s 10 Dying Cities, instead of just writing letters to the editor, 5 thousand residents participated in a 9 minute vibrant and upbeat lip dub video which was put up on YouTube. The downtown was closed off and all kinds of organizations, individuals and groups participated.
Newsweek responded on it’s Facebook page.
To the Grand Rapids crowd:
First off, we LOVE your YouTube LipDub. We’re big fans, and are inspired by your love of the city you call home.
But so you know what was up with the list you’re responding to, we want you to know it was done by a website called mainstreet.com–not by Newsweek (it was unfortunately picked up on the Newsweek web site as part of a content sharing deal)–and it uses a methodology that our current editorial team doesn’t endorse and wouldn’t have employed. It certainly doesn’t reflect our view of Grand Rapids.
Salon asked it’s readers if publications such as Newsweek should post content from other publications if the editorial departments don’t agree with the content?
When a commenter asked why the article was posted on Newsweek if it doesn’t endorse MainStreet’s methods, the Newsweek FB team replied:
Different editorial team = different methods.
Meanwhile, MainStreet.com itself has posted a reply to the lip dub, if you’re so inclined. The real meat of this issue though is Newsweek editors’ obvious distaste with some of the new partnerships going on their site.
Editorial and advertising have always been able to be separated in newspapers and magazines, but with content-sharing there is a murkier area. On the Newsweek site, there is no way to tell that the “10 Dying Cities” article was originally written by another publication…
The Mainstreet.com article in Newsweek went up in January. Mainstreet responded with an article on Mainstreet, and gave the energetic Grand Rapid citizen response a nod before defending their methodology. Mainstreet hasn’t updated it’s Facebook wall since 2010, but allow comments on their er, main website. At least Newsweek writers moved out of their comfort zone by responding on Facebook. That having been said, why can’t Newsweek writers go to Grand Rapids and do a follow up on the video, the city and it’s people?