Center for Media and Democracy and Free Press say they’ve found 46 stations that aired VNRs without disclosure. A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Washington.
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Free Press today announced that television stations are still including corporate-funded PR videos into their newscasts without disclosure.
In August, the FCC launched an investigation into VNR usage, sending letters of inquiry to the owners of 77 stations. Recently, the Radio-Television News Directors Association urged the FCC to halt its investigation. And a new consortium of broadcast PR firms, the National Association of Broadcast Communicators, is promoting industry self-regulation.
The new CMD report, “Still Not the News: Stations Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs,” claims to document 46 TV stations that aired corporate video news releases, or VNRs—sponsored segments produced to mimic independent news reports.
The full report, including video footage of the VNRs and the TV newscasts that incorporated them, is now online at http://www.stopfakenews.org
“Our new report shows that news audiences continue to be deceived by fake TV news,” said Diane Farsetta, CMD senior researcher and co-author of the report. “Of the 54 VNR broadcasts that we documented, only two offered clear disclosure of the client behind the segment. Nearly 90 percent of the time, TV stations made no effort to disclose at all.”
FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein will join the two groups in a phone press conference announcing the report today at 2 p.m.