Ask the Editor

News and advertising kept separate

sduerr@thetribunenews.comAugust 15, 2013 

Sandra Duerr

Q: I would be glad to talk about a Tribune sponsorship in return for expanded coverage for our event, but I don’t know who handles that for The Tribune.

Q: We are a strong supporter of using your paper for classified employment ads, and are now speaking with your advertising department concerning future ads and a partnership with The Tribune on “getting the word out’’ for our new exciting business and website. … Ideally, we would like to start our relationship with your paper doing an article on us — because it’s such a great story!

A: These queries, which I received within the past month, are not unusual. We’re often asked if it’s possible to create a package deal for news and advertising — or asked to publish news stories because the company has advertised in The Tribune or on our website at

Our response is always the same: Our news and advertising executives certainly talk to each other, but we have always kept news and advertising decisions separate. All decisions regarding news coverage and placement of stories in the newspaper and on our website are made solely by the news staff, independent of whether a company or individual chooses to advertise with The Tribune. We maintain that separation to ensure the independence and integrity of our news report. Readers count on us — and trust us — for that independence.

Q: I want to thank you for running the (Saturday) series on the Affordable Care Act. As you can imagine I am seeing a lot about the ACA come across my desk, and I found the series to be, by far, the best explanation geared toward non-Human Resources and non-benefits people that I have seen. Running the series was a great community service. — Betsey Nash, SPHR, Human Resources Manager, Strasbaugh

A: I’m delighted that you’ve found Emily Bazar’s biweekly “Ask Emily” column instructive and useful. Bazar has long covered health care issues for the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting, an independent news organization devoted to reporting about health care issues affecting Californians. It’s funded by the nonprofit, nonpartisan California Healthcare Foundation. The Tribune teamed with Bazar and the independent news group in 2010 to produce a three-part series on how the severe recession was endangering the health of families, especially children, in San Luis Obispo County.

Sandra Duerr is the executive editor of The Tribune. Do you have a question about the newspaper, our website or our coverage? If so, please write me c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406-0112, or email me at Follow me on Twitter @SandraDuerr.

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