In yesterday’s St. Petersburg Times, Washington bureau chief editor, Bill Adair, discusses what corporations are doing to receive “independent and credible” coverage from reporters.

They are paying for it!  GASP!

The article draws three examples of how big corporation views wind up on the opinion pages of national newspapers.

One, my favorite, says that James K. Glassman, a prominent syndicated columnist, denounced Super Size Me in many articles, columns, and op-eds.  A quick Google of his name shows that McDonald’s is a major sponsor of his Web site called Tech Central Station.

Are there PR people out there who would advise their clients that this is a good idea?  If so, I’d like to hear from you.

Until I am convinced otherwise (and it’s highly unlikely that will happen) I am moved to say how appalled I am that some journalists would run something without checking their sources.  It’s our job, as PR professionals, to make the job of the reporter easier, but this takes the cake!

I hope that PR professionals read Mr. Adair’s article and provide ALL information to the journalists they pitch; even if it’s negative.  In the end it will help your story and could potentially avert a crisis.

Click here to see the complete Times article.