Fake Reporters

The Bush administration is getting some flack for a video it has distributed to news stations showing journalists commenting on the public reaction to the newly passed Medicare law. The problem is that those aren't real journalists. They're actors paid to read from a script. It's a subtle, ambiguous form of deception, since the White House can always say that they really are reporters. After all, they're standing there, in front of a camera, reporting. Doesn't that make them a real reporter? In a sense, yes. But really, no. They're White House press agents. There's still a difference between a press agent and a reporter.

Journalism Politics

Posted on Mon Mar 15, 2004


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Posted by Gee  on  Tue Mar 16, 2004  at  02:11 PM
These canned news stories are very common - I see them all the time on local newscasts (I'm in the PR field but don't use these). They're sometimes called video news releases. They are a very common source of things lik health news that you see on your local stations. Sometimes the local station will take out the reporter and just use the video and have a local reporter read the script.

The source is always made clear. The bad thing isn't that Bush is sending them out - the bad thing is that TV stations are using them.
Posted by Doug  on  Wed Mar 17, 2004  at  05:14 PM
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