Thursday, January 04, 2007

WZZM Money Page is....ZZZ

WZZM has rolled out a revised money section< of its Web site.

My reaction? ZZZ....

They basically run wire business stories, added a stock ticker that features West Michigan stocks, and have an "advertising" sidebar in which a local business can post news releases.

The latter item reeks of "pay to play" PR and bothers me. Have a simple ad message in which viewers can link to a business Web site for news releases. Last I checked, paying for coverage was popular only in the third world and is being addressed by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) ethics commission.

The other items on the revamped site are available elsewhere. Places ranging from Yahoo to the Wall Street Journal allow users to track select stocks, making such info even more personalized than WZZM's attempt. Similar tools allow RSS feeds from corporate news sites or investor relations sections to get tailored news of interest.

I know WZZM renamed the site "Money" from "Business" because they realize there is more of a market for personal finance stories than general business information. This shows that WZZM, like all media, is a business itself, more interested in packaging and selling their product than doing--what's it called?--oh yeah, journalism that informs people in a democratic society, tells them not just what they want to know but what they should know and care about. But if they do want to stoop to market driven journalism, they need a better product.

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