Date of Graduation

12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Jan Wicks

Committee Member

Ignatius Fosu

Second Committee Member

Ron Warren

Keywords

Advertising Disclosure, Disclosure, Native Advertising, Sponsored Content, Sponsored Post

Abstract

This paper reviews the growing combination of advertising and editorial content in the converged paid media form of native advertisements. Because native advertisements have the potential to negatively impact the credibility of traditional news organizations by misleading consumers through hidden persuasion attempts, this text reviews native advertisements in five prominent online newspapers for disclosure and source credibility.

Through a content analysis of 130 online newspaper native ads, this paper reviews disclosure according to FTC guidelines for native advertising proximity and placement, prominence, reputation, and language. In addition, this text reviews source credibility by attribution and source status: executives, professionals, public relations personnel, workers, celebrities, organizations, and students. This paper adds to research by its application of Agenda-Setting Theory in its sorting of native ads by their newspaper category and subject matter to determine which newspaper sections are utilizing native ads most frequently and ultimately driving the editorial agenda.

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