Recently I did an interview with a magazine devoted to residential real estate investing on the topic “Who can you trust in real estate news?
I highlighted my appearance on Larry King Live, where a supposed “real estate expert” made incorrect comments regarding the taxation of forgiven debt during a short sale. Unfortunately, my interview segment had completed and I was unable to correct the error before the end of the show.
Once the show was over, I called the producers but there wasn’t much they could do at that point. Hundreds of thousands of home owners got bad information from a reputable source!
Another problem we’ve seen recently is the “pay-for-play” system that many magazines and web sites are using. Most people expect a trade magazine or web site to provide industry information and trends based on expertise. The issue arises with magazines force advertising in exchange for “news” coverage. I’ve heard this many times in so many words: “We’ll do a cover story on your company if you buy $10,000 worth of ads from us”.
This creates a situation where the content is not driven by the industry, but by who is willing to buy advertising. This isn’t illegal, but is disingenuous. Most readers would put much less weight on the articles and stories in a publication if they knew they were simply bought with ad dollars. In the music industry this is called “payola” and IS illegal.
The lesson is: Always question everything you hear or read in the media!