October 16, 2010

Can elephant’s voice be bought by advertisers?

Integrity, today only, $500 dollars/month!

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.” ~ Edward R. Murrow, one of my journalism heroes.

Just had the below interesting email convo with a friend/colleague who will go unnamed, and thought his question was an important one to share with our readers, so you know where we’re coming from and going as we steadily build toward world domination for the greater and common good. ~ elephant founder Waylon Lewis


On Oct 16, 2010, at 1:38 PM, X wrote:


When I heard that after [recent critical article by Waylon], that [A Company] had entire Elephant team down for [tour, lunch] and they stepped up advertising to buy better friends at Elephant…I have to question whether church and state are separate at Ele…And if voice is objective or for sale.

[Can one buy way out of problems] with Elephant?



My reply:

Good question, X, and I don’t question your questioning who you might get into bed with, partnerships-wise. Much of new media is little more than glorified advertorial, and I know for a fact that a few of the biggest green blogs are silent about criticizing their sponsors.

Our reputation for speaking truth in a constructive, fun yet honest manner is, I think, well-deserved.

Thought you knew me well enough, by now, but perhaps not. I’m not the silent type—I (and our 50 writers nationally are) in this because I’m passionate about eco-responsibility and walking the talk. If I were in this to make money, first, I might have sold elephant to one of several great offers I’ve had over the past two years.

I criticized [A Company] only yesterday. They’ve been pretty mature, in my experience, about reacting to and responding to my criticisms, which have been frequent since [x specifics]. Following our lunch they apparently are considering [x] with my urging, [x specifics would give away who we’re talking about].

That said, since our readers read for free, we are dependent on sponsors and, yes, we are active partners in terms of passing along info we feel good about on our site, twitter and facebook. We’d do so for you. Doesn’t mean our voice can be bought for the price of a free lunch or an ad, though I joke about it.

I joke about just about everything I can think of.



Waylon Lewis – founder: http://www.elephantjournal.com | host: Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis. Ft. on 20 sites, incl Huffington Post.
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