|WASHINGTON – Responding to criticism over government videos being packaged as TV news reports, federal regulators reminded broadcasters Wednesday of rules requiring them to identify the source of such material.|
Those rules “are grounded in the principle that listeners and viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them” with TV programming, the Federal Communications Commission said in a public notice to broadcast licensees and cable operators.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy was criticized last year for a series of videos in which a narrator, sometimes identified as “Karen Ryan,” said she was “reporting” on the office’s activities. Separately, the Health and Human Services Department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services produced video news releases, also narrated by “Karen Ryan,” touting changes to Medicare.
“There’s been a growing trend of broadcasters just putting on these so-called video news releases wholesale, and putting them on the air without letting the public know it may be from a government agency or it may be from a big corporation,” said FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. “So the public thinks it looks like a news story, and they don’t realize that in fact somebody that may have an agenda is trying to influence their thought.”
Yep. It’s not some great conspiracy though. It’s all about $$$$. The news services LOVE that junk because they don’t have to spend their time and money researching, producing and post-producing the stuff. Stick in the tape. Push PLAY. Much cheaper.
That said, the government has NO business producing these “things” and allowing them to be aired as “news”. It’s no conspiracy because they have all been doing it for years.
Right on TG - you & I are in agreement on this one!