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The Daily Tribune: Advertisement, News, Collaboration


The case is about Daily Tribune, a well-established newspaper in eastern Tennessee. The newspaper’s readership is mostly in the small towns and commands a good number of readerships in the counties. The looming problem arises when the publisher of the newspaper, John Freeman announces in a meeting with the managers that they have to take care of the advertisers of the newspapers, even if it means to report half-truths about them in the paper. He also said that the news department has to engage in, what he calls “horizontal collaboration,” with the advertisement department before any news that may hurt the sentiment of the advertisers is published. This infuriates that news editor, Rick Arnold, who truly believes in the value of the newspaper, i.e. to present the whole truth. This creates an intergroup conflict between the news department and the advertisement department. The problem is accentuated by Rick’s publishing of news regarding one of the newspaper’s one of the most valued advertisers East Tennessee Healthcorp. Now the question arises is how should the managing director, Lisa Lawrence and publisher John Freeman handle the situation to avoid such conflicts and the rising dissonance among the departments.

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Clearly, the intergroup conflict is between the news department and the advertisement department. And the reason for such a horizontal conflict is primarily twofold. First reason is goal incompatibility. The news department’s goal is to print the news which has validity without concealing the facts and to attain maximum readership and that of the advertisement department is to maximize advertisement revenue. Surely a conflict is inevitable when the news department prints a story regarding an advertiser which may hurt the advertiser’s sentiments and impact his decision to sponsor more advertisements in the newspaper, which will in turn reduce the paper’s revenue. Second reason is differentiation. Surely the values, attitudes and standards of behavior of the two departments are very different. So there arose a basic differentiation led conflict between the two. The newspaper department values its integrity regarding printing a truthful story, without caring about the consequences and doing it instinctively. On the other hand, the advertising department’s priority lies in attaining advertiser loyalty and retaining it. A newspaper department will not consider if the news they are about to print smears the image of their advertiser, but the advertisement department will be concerned about it. Thus, we see that Daily Tribune is based on a political model. Here the differentiation is high and departments have separate goals and values.

The genesis of this conflict arose from the increased importance of the advertisement’s contribution in the revenue generation. Over the years this department’s contribution to the revenue increased and the department too grew, and on the other hand, the news department shrunk. This expansion in the organization gave the ad department political power over the news department as it was contributing a scarce resource.


The present situation is a win-lose situation where neither of the departments is willing to understand the others’ point of view. To avoid this we suggest the following methods that Freeman and Lawrence should use to dissipate this conflict. First, they should try to increase collaboration among both the teams. Research has shown that teams and task forces or project managers are effective in doing this. This can be done by making a team of two members from each department and allowing them to make decisions regarding the printing or not-printing of the news. This problem can be solved only if the members openly communicate with each other and avoid giving threats (as Freeman did). This will increase collaboration among the departments. This should be the short-run strategy. Second, in the long run Freeman and Lawrence should create shared missions and superordinate goals for both the teams. Studies have shown that when employees share a larger vision for their company, they are more likely to have a united cooperative workforce that beliefs in cooperation and information sharing.

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"The Daily Tribune: Advertisement, News, Collaboration." StudyCorgi, 21 Sept. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Daily Tribune: Advertisement, News, Collaboration." September 21, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Daily Tribune: Advertisement, News, Collaboration." September 21, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Daily Tribune: Advertisement, News, Collaboration." September 21, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Daily Tribune: Advertisement, News, Collaboration'. 21 September.

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