City Desk

D.C.: Informer‘s Ad Pitch Focused Too Much on Black Readers

D.C.'s Office of the Chief Financial Officer has released a statement on why the Washington Informer lost out on a city ad contract, which went to the Washington Times. According to the city, the Informer's argument that it could help the city reach black readers disqualified it as a "newspaper of general circulation."

Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes filed a complaint last week, initially reported by the Washington Business Journal, alleging that the paper had been denied the contract because of its coverage of black Washingtonians.

According to the CFO's office, the Informer's pitch for the contract described the paper as the "absolute best way to reach the African American Community." This wasn't much use to the CFO's office, according to their statement, because they wanted the ad to be read by all Washingtonians.

"The purpose of publishing the unclaimed property listing is to reach as wide an audience as possible crossing all demographics, not simply target a specific one," the CFO's statement reads.

Rolark Barnes did not respond to a request for comment. While the Informer has won ad contracts from the city that involved multiple outlets in the past, the CFO's office said in the statement that budget concerns meant only one paper could receive this contract.

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Comments

  1. Jacqui Adams-Austin
    #1

    "The purpose of publishing the unclaimed property listing is to reach as wide an audience as possible crossing all demographics, not simply target a specific one," the CFO's statement reads. The CFO has still made a bad decision. There are not many African-American in DC that read the Washington Times. The Washington Times' " Washington Examiner" cannot be picked up at Metro Stations in majority black communities: Deanwood Minnesota Avenue, Congress Heights, Capital Heights, Addison Road, or Anacostia. They are not concern with reaching out to the African-American Community; they mainly reach out to the Caucasian; so what is the difference? Why were they chosen if they do the same thing; just a different racial group.

  2. #2

    Seems that they are better at paper work.

  3. #3

    As a caucasian, I must disagree with one point that Jacqui states; to wit, the Washington Times does not "...mainly reach out to the Caucasian..."
    It mainly reaches out to the Right Wing.

    Other than that, I agree. If someone wanted to reach the widest reading audience, it should go to the paper with the largest circulation, and not be put up for bids. If it wants to reach everyone, it should have tried to go for the greatest coverage of ALL demographics and gone for multiple outlets.

    And, if they really wanted to save money, they could have put a smaller ad, giving a web site address, and then printing some lists and having them at every public library for $1.

  4. iknewthehellbetter
    #4

    @Aaron - points well expressed and thoughtful.

  5. #5

    If I'm reading a local paper owned by some out-of-town freakazoid far-right-wing billionaire, I'm going with the 'Zaminer. More people (many, many more) in DC read the NY Times than the Moonie Times.

  6. #6

    So what about those of us that do not read the Washington Times and do not consider it a paper of general readership. A lot of people, including white people, read the Informer.

  7. Al-Malik Farrakhan
    #7

    The Washington Informer Newspaper does carry news that appeal to a cross section of readers. And might I add that reporters have been very supportive in covering stories on my organization, Cease Fire ... Don't Smoke the Brothers and Sisters, Inc.

    Due to my demanding schedule today, I will not be able to attend today's meeting but do hope that my comment here will serve as a voice of support for The Washington Informer, a newspaper that is just as deserving of major ads as any mainstream news publications.

    Al-Malik Farrakhan, Founder and Executive Director,
    Cease Fire ... Don't Smoke the Brothers and Sisters, Inc.

  8. #8

    The Washington Times does not reach a crossing of demographics. The paper, and its advertisers, target right-wing Caucasians. However, the Informer does not reach anyone. Very few African Americans read the Informer. Using tax-payers money to advertise in the Informer is criminal.

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