Science News will “plan to try to watch out” for any possible appearances of blurred lines between its advertising and news content “to avoid any appearance of a connection that does not exist.” This vow comes after the Aug. 25 issue of Science News placed a book review with an advertisement for the same book in a two-page spread, the magazine’s Departments Editor Erika Engelhaupt told iMediaEthics by email.
Science News identifies itself as a “biweekly news magazine” on “all fields of science.”
We asked Science News about the ad, for the book 101 American Geo-Sites You’ve Gotta See, being paired on the opposite page of an ad for the book this week. Engelhaupt, who said she edits the page in question, explained:
“We do have a separate staff for advertising and editorial, and there was no coordination on the book highlight that you mentioned. I do not know in advance if a particular book will be advertised in the magazine, and I don’t see the ads in the magazine until the final production stages if at all. I make decisions about which books to review independently of the advertisements, and any co-occurrence of a review and an ad is coincidental.”
Check out the two-page spread in question.
UPDATE: 9/21/2012: 12:54 PM EST: See below a detail of the two-page spread.