On traditional media, the, i.e., paid stories are explicitly tag as sponsored or Advt. The same should apply to online media. No doubt the online press has progressed speedily, and traditional media is lagged far behind it. So, the stories written for monetary gains or financial support especially for advertisers or personalities, must be tagged, let people know that it is not an editorial discretion. The cause of writing such a story is to benefit the advertiser. Admittedly, the negative points would get ignored, and public interest might have been a downside in them. Hence editors must let the people know about the status. Otherwise, it is a solecism.
Although the website domain codes, i.e., .com for commercial, .net for the network, .org for an organization and .press for media is enough to tell the status of stories available on a website. But the craze of .com and its credibility in the eyes of visitors is much higher than other TLDs.
The online media has enabled everybody to share stories that make indeed to recognized the online news stories written by journalists. Hence the attributes of Journalism, the courage, the fearlessness and a cause is seen very less on online media. The exciting or viral content much prevails and get maximum coverage.
The media tells the face of society, its value and relationships. But when rumors, non-verifiable stories, where editorial discretions are influenced scale up in online media, then seriously organization is going in the wrong direction.
The Internet is full of turbulent writers, who to gain a link or to drive traffic to their or client website regularly share a lot of content on various media available on the Internet. And, the specialized journalists creating digital content is facing tremendous competition. The audience outreach has dominated the top positions of search engines, and they are growing faster than one can imagine.
With the technical knowledge, skills of writing press releases and channels readily available to disseminate, the paid or sponsored stories in online media are multiplying. No doubt, they educate and enhance the reader's knowledge, but the writer's pen instills in the loyalty of the brand. The success of these marketing leaders is also due to their quality of relationships, and they build with audiences by sharing and networking on social media.
The thought leaders or traditional media leaders should get ready to upgrade their skills in technology use. And, being community enablers start participating in conversations happening on social media. Only, then the environment would change and a force would build-up to tag the paid or sponsored articles.