A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 25, 2012
Earned Media (Free Media)

"Paid media” is when someone takes out advertising and pays for it. Political campaigns often try for “free media” as well, such as exposure on television talk shows and news programs. The term “free media” has been cited in print since at least 1976.

The term “earned media” has been cited in print since at least 1986 and has replaced “free media” since the 1988 presidential campaign. A political candidate earns the right to appear in the media and the campaign staff works hard to keep that candidate there—nothing is “free,” but it is “earned.”


Wiktionary: earned media
Noun
earned media
(uncountable)
1.(politics, advertising) Publicitiy for political campaigns gained through newspaper articles, TV news stories, web news, letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, and “fast polls” on TV and the Web.
Synonyms
. free media

New York (NY) Times
Candidates Vie For ‘Free’ Media
By JOSEPH LELYVELD Special to The New York Times;
February 27, 1976,
Section , Page 10, Column , words
BOSTON, Feb. 26 With its departure from bucolic New Hampshire, the Presidential road show has gone through the looking glass into a dense electronic environment in which a winning way with small groups is less important than an ability to manipulate what campaign technicians call “free media” and “paid media.”
(...)
“Free media” is the jargon term for news coverage and “paid media” is advertising.

Google Books
Political Campaign Management:
A Systems Approach

By Arnold Steinberg
Lexington, MA: Lexington Books
1976
Pg. 60:
Free media versus paid media. The free media space and time provided by news and feature coverage cannot be easily separated from advertising.

7 April 1986, Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK):
Calling it “earned media,” she said she can gain publicity on county projects and other official activities.

Google Books
Broadcast Copywriting
By Peter B. Orlik
Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon
1986
Pg. 418:
Free media is the term that encompasses that nightly news show, interview programs, and other unpaid exposure the candidate enjoys—particularly on radio and television.

Google Books
National Journal
Volume 20, Issues 27-39
1988
Pg. 2249:
But veteran Democratic strategists are worried that Dukakis believes he doesn’t need anyone to play Ailes’s role as an adviser on “earned” media (this year’s term for TV news coverage, succeeding “free” media) or in the presidential debates.

Google Books
The Next Hurrah:
The communications revolution in American politics

By Richard Armstrong
New York, NY: Beech Tree Books
1988
Pg. 20:
Satellites have also played a role in the growth of something media consultants call “free media,” or more recently, “earned media.”

Google Books
The Blue Book for Grassroots Politics
By Charles R. Phillips
Nashville, TN: Oliver Nelson
1990
Pg. 143:
A Christian PAC cannot expect very much free media coverage (or what is called “earned media"), such as press conference coverage, publication of news releases (especially in large urban areas), or coverage by television.

Google Books
Elections USA
By Philip Davies
Manchester; New York, NY: Manchester University Press; New York, NY: Distributed exclusively in the USA and Canada by St. Martin’s Press
1992
Pg. 102:
Attracting favourable or neutral media coverage, formerly called ‘free media’, but now referred to as ‘earned media’, has become one of the most valued of campaign skills.

Google Books
America’s Choice:
The Election of 1996

By William J. Crotty and Jerome M. Mileur
Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill
1997
Pg. 56:
Free media — some consultants use the term “earned” media — take the form of news coverage or other media appearances.

Google Books
The Democracy Owners’ Manual:
A practical guide to changing the world

By Jim Shultz
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press
2002
Pg. 191:
The expression “free media” refers to coverage that isn’t paid advertising, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is free. Initiative campaigns spend a great deal of time and resources trying to attract media coverage to their cause and spinning the way that coverage comes out. Some campaigners call these efforts “earned media.”

Google Books
Political Communication: The Manship School Guide
Edited by Robert Mann and David D. Perlmutter
Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press
2011
Pg. 113:
Earned media is the art of generating or shaping favorable or tactically advantageous publicity by using some or all available platforms. Once known as free media, the new term reflects its growing importance; earned media is not free for the taking but is achieved only with a substantial amount of time and effort. And in today’s media world, earned media is more important than ever.

Google Books
Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress
By Scot Schraufnagel
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press
2011
Pg. 77:
EARNED MEDIA. Sometimes referred to as “free media,” this is a reference to candidate exposure that results from coverage of campaign events such as candidate forums, photo opportunities, or staged media events. It is often the job of paid media consultants to obtain as much of this type of coverage as possible for congressional candidates. Earned media also comes in the form of appearances on radio and television talk shows. These media reaching potential voters are highly desirable because they are cost effective and they allow a candidate to express her or his views without them being filtered or analyzed by traditional journalists.

Google Books
Parties and Elections in America:
The electoral process (5th edition)

By Louis Sandy Maisel and Mark D Brewer
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
2010
Pg. 311:
FREE MEDIA Media exposure that a candidate receives without having to pay for it, for example, coverage in newspapers or on television news shows.
PAID MEDIA Media exposure that a candidate’s campaign pays for and thus controls.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (0) Comments • Monday, June 25, 2012 • Permalink