Fake News On Your TV

Status: advertising disguised as news
image In Hippo Eats Dwarf I discuss Video News Releases (VNRs) and how their use means that a lot of the news we see on TV is either advertising or propaganda in disguise. (VNRs are video segments created by corporations or the government, that are then aired on TV news, often without their true source ever being revealed). RAW STORY reports that "over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content."

The article cites a VNR created by GM as a particularly egregious example of fake news. GM created a VNR that discussed how the internet has changed how people shop for cars, in which the claim was made that GM "introduced the first manufacturer web site in 1996." That's totally wrong, states the Center for Media and Democracy. GM did no such thing. Nevertheless, the complete unchanged VNR was aired on TV stations, without any indication being given to viewers that what they were seeing was a piece of corporate pr. On the prwatch website you can compare the original GM VNR with the almost identical version of it that aired on KSLA TV (in Shreveport, Louisiana).

Advertising Journalism

Posted on Thu Apr 06, 2006


Oh I'm the first poster? w00t. Seriously though, this is damn disturbing. How long before the government starts doing it, if they're not already? And how long before it comes to the UK?
Posted by Tom K  on  Sat Apr 08, 2006  at  10:57 AM
The situation with GM is a stupid one; however, the news stations that were putting out the VNR should have researched it before putting it on air. Most stations don't now-a-days. News stations are constantly making cuts and reporters' jobs are going down the draink because it's easier and costs less money to put a VNR put out by a PR firm on air than to spend money on reporters to go out and get stories on scene. Not all public relations is bad, but there is a lot of crap out there. Good movie to get a hold of to learn more about Public Relations and this sort of thing check out "Toxic Sludge is Good for You".
Posted by lindsay  in  North Bay  on  Tue Apr 03, 2007  at  05:40 PM
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