<body> Public Ad Campaign: Private Sponsorship and the Failure of Content
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Private Sponsorship and the Failure of Content

I recently watched The Black Press, soldiers without swords, directed by Stanley Nelson. It chronicles the rise and influence of African American run newspapers after the civil war up to the rise of the civil rights movement. Although only a small section is dedicated to discussing the types of advertisements shown in these newspapers, some glaring realities came forward. Chief amongst these was that the reliance on big advertising money to run operations was directly related to the nature of the content printed. I won't even get into whether or not the "nature" of the content changed for the better or worse, I only care that it changed. It seems this idea can be applied ubiquitously, including the public environment, which gives us reason to examine the "nature" of the change that outdoor advertising - by sponsoring our transit authority, financing our stadiums and public institutions as well as our public parks - has had on that public space. Like the newspapers relying on little to no private sponsorship, would our public space be similarly transformed into a more authentic honest and original representation of our collective social desires?

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