Will the Onion Become Biased?

Will the Onion Become Biased?

The Onion has started to have sponsored content on their satirical news website from the media giant FOX.  FOX sponsored content around the release of the show Krapopolis.  On their website in the featured section it appeared for about a week and was often placed somewhere in other articles under a sponsored content flag. When you went to the advertisement it was done in the style of a regular Onion article with the same kind of voice and satire that the Onion has used for many years. This article was also way longer than any article the Onion has created in recent years.

Many media outlets are now reliant on advertising to keep publishing because publishing actual paper newspapers are not cost effective.  The onion is owned by GO media and has a lot of regular ads already. The Onion has long made fun of FOX on a weekly basis about their regular news station and its anchors. This recent advertising calls into question the Onion’s integrity. How can they release stories relating to FOX without having either this advertising pulled or being pressured to write stories that only satirize FOX for things that they want?

This is an issue that not only relates to the Onion but other news organizations. PBS and NPR, when dealing with a story that relates to a company that is a donor, will often state a disclaimer. Most print publications including the New York Times and The Onion don’t state this in any part of the articles relating to people that pay for ads in these publications. That said, the Times and New Yorker sometimes have ads labeled as advertisements because the advertiser used a style and typeface similar to the rest of the publication. These ads are clearly ads, though, and used to promote a product as opposed to the sponsored content that appeared on the Onion, which resembled an article that may have appeared on the Onion as content created by the paper to ridicule a show or movie. 

The Onion is a news source that is unlike most in its style and carelessness. There are other organizations that only cover sports or fashion or shows and movies. The Onion covers it all, even international issues like the war in Ukraine, and the newest round of fighting in Israel and Palestine. I hope that the Onion will be able to stay neutral while also getting enough money to stay afloat and keep publishing quality news and other content.

As a Public Service Announcement:

The Onion is blocked across all school computers as it is rated for readers over the age of 18.

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