Why is it that only marketers know how to get a message across?

Every time I find someone who really gets story structure, or how to sell a story to the public, it’s a Marketing type.

Seth Godin gets it.

In his Placebo Affect post, (yes, that’s Affect with an A – it’s the cause and not the effect, eh?) Seth tells his fellow Marketers/PR pros:

“We don’t like to admit that we tell stories, that we’re in the placebo business. Instead, we tell ourselves about features and benefits as a way to rationalize our desire to to help our customers by allowing them to lie to themselves.”

Of course, that’s not the sort of thing we do in Journalism.


How does Journalism (with a capital J) clothe information in expert analysis or quotes from witnesses to try and get a story across? Is the authority of a certain brand of newspaper real, or just a placebo fed to the reader by a historical context and a familiar font?

At what point does the attempt to create an authoritative and credible voice cross over into spectacle?

Should Journalists be the Marketers of Truth?