Chevron’s brand journalism site draws criticism
Is the company’s branded local journalism site an example of a company providing a public service, or is it blatant propaganda, as some critics contend?
Chevron is coming under fire for its Richmond Standard news website, which extends the brand journalism concept to something more akin to brand-sponsored journalism.
Critics such as Los Angeles Times writer Michael Hiltzik have objected that the website is full of “corporate PR disguised as community ‘news,’” despite the site’s above-the-fold declaration that it is, in fact, a Chevron website.
Is this a case of a company trying to shoehorn its propaganda into a content-marketing format, or is it truly a service to its community?
Under the site’s “news” header, you’ll find stories about how a local pastor found and returned a missing wheelchair to a four-year-old girl with spina bifida, and how local high school students are getting free, one-on-one help with writing. In the same manner, the “community views,” “sports” and other sections cover the local events and successes of Richmond, California, a Bay Area city of 107,000 residents.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.Sign up today
Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.