There is a takeover going on in the media industry and you can see it happening in full colour every day in your morning papers.
If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.
Whole pages, broad bands sweeping from edge to edge, narrow strips of editorial sandwiched between colourful corporate messages, overlays, inserts and sponsored editions. Never has so much ink been expended on ads in the average newspaper as today - and it comes down to clicks.
Newspapers are bending over backwards to claw back ad money from the internet and, as in the recent case of one British newspaper, that can mean compromises.
When controversy erupted earlier this year over tax avoidance schemes operated by the world's second largest bank - HSBC - a well-respected columnist publicly resigned, calling out his paper for soft-pedalling the story.
The accusation was that cash was influencing the coverage.
Nowadays, some of the biggest names in news are redefining the church/state separation between editorial and business by producing ads in-house that are designed to sit alongside their journalism and be just as compelling for readers.
In an era when many corporations are finding their own channels to spread the word without the help of media outlets, "native advertising" is being touted by some as a potential saviour for the fourth estate.
For others, this is nothing more than trust for sale.
The Listening Post's Will Yong reports on the uneasy relationship between advertising and the news media.
Source: Al Jazeera