WVXU: What is pink-slime journalism?

UC’s Jeffrey Blevins explains ‘pink-slime’ journalism to WVXU listeners

“Pink-slime” is a food industry term used to define a meat by-product that is used as an additive or filler; but it is also a term being applied to the onset of media outlets that pose as news organizations when nothing can be farther from the truth.

Jeffrey Blevins, PhD,
Professor, Dept. of Journalism and School of Public and International Affairs

Jeffrey Blevins, PhD, professor in UC's Department of Journalism and School of Public and International Affairs

“It reminds me of what we used to call 'yellow journalism'…but this is worse. It’s trying to pass itself off as something that it’s not,” UC’s Jeffery Blevins, a professor with appointments in UC’s Department of Journalism and the School of Public and International Affairs, told WVXU.

Pink-slime publications and their websites are “usually funded by outside companies that are financed by a partisan political source or an organization that wants to promote — or avoid — a certain type of coverage,” says Blevins. According to the interview, these outlets started popping up around 2016.   

One example of pink-slime journalism is a publication called “The Buckeye Journal”, which started appearing in Greater Cincinnatian’s mailboxes prior to the August 2023 vote on Ohio’s Issue 1. The journal had all the ear marks of a community newspaper but was published by a partisan organization with the intent to influence readers to cast a “YES” vote on the issue.   

Statistics show that people are losing trust in journalism and media organizations, but the one place news remains the strongest is local news. These organizations are trying to erode the trust that does exist, says Blevins.

Blevins is a leading scholar in U.S. telecommunication law and policy, and critical political economy theory and is the co-author of “Social Media, Social Justice and the Political Economy of Online Networks.” He is a trusted media resource, and he has provided expertise on electronic media regulation and Federal Communications Commission policymaking to international, national, regional and local news media.

Listen to the interview.

Blevins is also cited in a related article by WCPO: Experts: 'Buckeye Reporter' showing up in Ohio mailboxes isn't what it appears to be.

Featured photo at top: iStock Photo/griddy_

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WVXU: What is pink-slime journalism?

August 24, 2023

WVXU interview with UC's Jeffrey Blevins and other experts on the topic of "pink-slime" journalism (media outlets pretending to be something that they are not). In the interview, experts provide tips on identifying and avoiding these outlets. One example is "The Buckeye Journal" which had Cincinnatian's thinking it was a community paper, when it is actually a partisan funded organization.