If you haven’t noticed lately, the line between journalism and marketing has been getting blurrier.

The latest case in point: the Chicago Tribune’s marketing department apparent soliciting of “subscribers’ opinions on stories before they were published,” according to an Associated Press story.

As the AP reported, “An e-mail signed by 55 reporters and editors, sent Wednesday to Editor Gerould Kern and Managing Editor Jane Hirt and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, questions why the newspaper was conducting the surveys and what stories were used.”

It will be intriguing to see how this plays out, though it is unrealistic to expect any clarity emerging as to whether subscribers had any effect on news coverage.

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