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Belo Blurring the News/Advertising Line

The ProJo's parent company, A.H. Belo, has been skewered over the last 24 hours after sending a memo to employees at its flagship paper, the Dallas Morning News, announcing that some editors at the paper will start reporting directly to managers who oversee advertising - blurring the traditional line between business and editorial.

There is nothing that alarms a journalist more than the prospect of advertisers influencing the news. Though, as a short piece in the New York Times notes, this is hardly the first weakening of the divide.

The move has created some buzz in the ProJo newsroom, but no word - yet - of a similar arrangement on Fountain Street. And the memo, which also went out to some other Belo publications, does not appear to have been sent to any of the ProJo's rank-and-file. We'll keep an eye on this.

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