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Apr 6, 2006
Related story: Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed



Act Now! Tell the FCC to Stop Fake Local News

http://action.freepress.net/campaign/

Corporate propaganda has infiltrated local TV newscasts.

The Center for Media and Democracy
and Free Press recently exposed 77 local stations that had slipped corporate-sponsored "video news releases" -- segments promoting commercial brands and products -- into their regular news programming.

 

Stations disguised these advertisements as genuine news reports and passed them off to viewers without disclosure. This deception is a serious breach of the trust between broadcasters and their communities.

 

Take action to stop fake news today.

Act Now! Tell the FCC to Stop Fake Local News

 

Local Television’s Dirty Little Secret

An exposé by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Free Press reveals that corporate propaganda has infiltrated local television news across the country.

http://www.freepress.net/fakenews/

CMD, which conducted the investigation, caught 77 local stations that had slipped corporate-sponsored “video news releases” — segments promoting commercial brands and products — into their regular news programming. These advertisements were passed off to unsuspecting viewers as legitimate news reports.

This deception is a breach of the trust between local stations and their communities. By disguising advertisements as news, stations violate both the spirit and the letter of their broadcasting licenses, which obligate them to serve public interest.


Tell the FCC to Crack Down on Local News Deception
Read the Center for Media and Democracy’s Full Report
Uncover Fake News in Your Community


The Big Media Profit Motive

More than 80 percent of the stations snared in the investigation are owned by large conglomerates. A list of the worst offenders reads like a who’s who of big media, including stations owned by:

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Clear Channel Communications
  • News Corp/Fox Television
  • Viacom/CBS Corp
  • Tribune Company

The evidence suggests a strong tie between media consolidation and the use of deceptive, pre-packaged propaganda.

There’s a reason for this: VNRs are free. Reporting news that’s meaningful to local communities isn’t. By opting to air a VNR instead of sending a reporter into the field, station owners save a fortune.

Corporate PR firms offer local stations VNRs knowing there’s a built-in incentive to use them. By dressing up fake news as local reporting, stations cut costs and increase profits.


Put Your Local Station on Notice
Find your station: 
http://www.freepress.net/fakenews/map.php

On April 6, we delivered a formal complaint to the FCC, urging the agency to take immediate and strong action to stop this widespread abuse. The CMD investigation — sampling less than 1 percent of local newscasts — exposed only the tip of the iceberg. It’s likely that fake news reports have been aired on hundreds of other local newscasts.

Free Press and CMD continue to pressure Washington policymakers to guard our airwaves against the spread of fake news.

Help us send a strong message to the FCC: Investigate this abuse by local news stations, enforce and clarify exisiting rules and penalize all broadcasters that truck in fake news.


Act Now! Tell the FCC to Stop Fake Local News



 

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Posted: Apr 6, 2006 9:19pm

 

 
 
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