This interesting twist of events over at The Stranger in Seattle is rather cringe-inducing. Seems they were letting someone in the advertising department write for the music section, which creates all kinds of messy conflict of interest problems.
Conflicts of interest possibilities abound when writing about any sort of local community—in order to have an authentic voice for that community, one kind of has to be a part of it. So, you disclose any connection and stay away from writing about really sticky ones. Like, you won't see me raving about my husband's band in print or anything.
But if you're selling ads AND writing content ... well, that's kind of a no-brainer no-no. But, I do have to say, this heightens my already high esteem for The Stranger—I've worked at a paper, which will remain nameless, that basically sabotaged my section because we weren't selling ads. So the ads got precedent over the content, which, while realistic, totally and completely sucks. It's nice to know that in the interest of maintaining unbiased and insightful content, The Stranger lays out their dirty laundry, and everyone bows out gracefully.