Subscribers of The News & Observer will be receiving a DVD about Islam.
The newspaper will distribute copies of the documentary "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" on Saturday to 160,000 home subscribers of The N&O and the Durham News. For technical reasons, the DVD will not be included in copies sold at newstands or in street boxes.
The documentary is described as part of a "grassroots effort to involve the public to work against the Radical Islamic threat." It has been criticized by some religious groups as biased and divisive.
The distribution was paid for by the ad agency Newspaper Services of America on behalf of the Clarion Fund, a New York-based advocacy group that funds documentaries and Web sites about Islamic fundamentalism.
The DVD has also been distributed to readers of The New York Times.
Jim McClure, vice president of display advertising for The N&O, said "there was discussion" about whether to accept the advertisement, but the "ultimate decision" was made by publisher Orage Quarles.
"Obviously, we have distributed other product samples, whether it's cereal or toothpaste," he said.
He declined to say how much the agency paid.
Update: On the packaging included with the DVD, it lists other publications across the nation that are distributing it, including The Denver Post, The Miami Herald, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press.