Columbia Journalism Review covers local stir over Moffitt’s AC-T insert

The Columbia Journalism Review reports on the local stir over Rep. Tim Moffitt’s recent advertising insert that was distributed in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Here’s an excerpt (click the link at the bottom for the entire article):

Conservative politicians tend to have a lot of complaints about the “mainstream liberal media.” But just before Thanksgiving, Tim Moffitt, a Republican state representative from western North Carolina, hit on a new approach: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Or to be more precise: Put together your own publication, and then pay the MSM to deliver it for you.

Moffitt is behind the Raleigh Digest, a 48-page tabloid that became the subject of local controversy after it appeared along with the glossy advertising inserts inside more than 10,000 copies of the Asheville Citizen-Times on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving. …

The Digest wasn’t labeled as a paid placement. And other than the copyright holder—In TouchNC, LLC—and an editor’s name, it wasn’t clear where the tabloid had come from. But that morning Jake Frankel, a staff writer at the Asheville alt-weekly Mountain Xpress, put out a tweet noting that InTouchNC is owned by Moffitt. The company had been covered by Carolina journalists last spring, as its services were becoming popular among Moffitt’s Republican colleagues.

Frankel had gotten a call from a bemused reader, and he wasn’t the only one hearing complaints. Before long, the Citizen-Times had clarifications on its website and Facebook page.

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