Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies

First Advisor

Michael Z Newman

Committee Members

David S Allen, Richard K Popp


content marketing, digital marketing, journalism, native advertising, new media, trade press


The need to study the production of advertising content from an academic standpoint, particularly advertising content that mimics or is embedded in other editorial content, in some form or the other, is greater than ever. Emerging marketing techniques such as native advertising, content marketing, and sponsored content have disrupted traditional media eco-systems and created a new media economy. While traditional advertising research is skewed in the favor of the consumer experience, researching the production and the lived experiences of journalists involved in the production of native advertising can yield promising results.

This project discusses native ethnographic fieldwork that has been conducted in the study of advertising practices and its place in society and culture. I discuss and reflect on my own experience of conducting on-site fieldwork on how advertising and journalism are intersecting at Lessiter Media, a contemporary publishing firm, in an attempt to build further on this growing body of advertising research. It is also an attempt to participate in the larger conversation about the blurring lines between advertising and news. My research explores questions that attempt to situate native advertising in the new media economy and understand the idea of disruption in the context of native advertising.