Heard about the U.K. website Churnalism.com?
It’s simple and extremely useful. You copy and paste your press release into a box, and the site compares it with news article to gauge their similarity.
The service currently compares press releases against U.K. print outlets and the BBC. (We’ve contacted the folks behind Churnalism to see if they’re planning to launch the service in other regions or nations.)
Why is it called “churnalism”? The word refers to the abhorrent practice of newspapers’ taking a news release and turning it into a “news article,” sometimes verbatim.
Here’s what Stuart Bruce, founder and CEO of Wolfstar Consultancy, had to say about “churnalism”:
“In more than 20 years in public relations it is depressing that churnalism has become more and more prevalent. It used to be the case that it was mainly regional newspapers and vertical sector trade press that would reproduce vast swathes of your news release, and even then only if was well written in their style without reams of marketing bull. Today, as Churnalism.com shows, it’s even the national press and hallowed BBC that will do it.”
Though some individuals in the industry will be thrilled to see their release picked up in such a manner, it's sad that fewer journalists are covering niche subjects.
What about you? Do you delight in seeing your words pass as a story, or would you prefer that a journalist turn them into a balanced news article?