Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Magazines & Advertising

Question: Is a magazine ethically required to be an open forum for all advertisers who have the ability to pay?

No. Magazines and advertisers are two different species living symbiotically. But, just like species, you have different breeds of each.

In our free enterprise system, magazines don't exist for the greater good; they exist because someone somewhere has some sort of agenda. Different magazines have different agendas. For example, I have never read Ms. Magazine, but judging by its self description as a feminist magazine which is "More Than A Magazine - A Movement", I would assume that's its primary agenda is not to make a huge profit or report the news. I would guess that it's primary agenda is along the lines of liberating and empowering women in a male dominated world.

On the other hand, there are magazines like Time, whose agenda is more along the lines of reporting on important issues in today's world. Then there is a magazine called The National Review, which is a very conservative publication. It's agenda is very much conservative politics.

And then there are different breeds of advertisements; some want you to buy something, while others don't. For example, take the anti-smoking commercials which we've all seen. They aren't trying to persuade me to buy something or give them money.

So my point is this: I believe that magazines reserve the right to refuse certain or all advertisements. Magazines and Advertisers only coexist symbiotically when their agendas allow them to.

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