Many news organizations have turned to native advertising as a source of revenue. By definition, native advertising tries to sell or promote a product in the guise of a news story. This makes it difficult for unsuspecting readers to know if and when there is an ulterior motive behind the information they encounter.
This task assesses students’ ability to distinguish between an article and an advertisement. Students are presented with the home page of a news magazine’s website, which includes both news items and advertisements. Students must evaluate three different sections of the web page—a traditional advertisement, a news story, and a native advertisement—and determine the nature of each. Successful students understand the different forms that advertising can take and identify both traditional and native advertising. They are also able to explain the features that distinguish a news story from an ad.