August 15, 2006
From the Washington Post
The FCC has sent letters to 77 television broadcasters, asking whether their stations had properly labeled “video news releases” before broadcasting them. The FCC inquiry follows an April study by the Center for Media and Democracy that found that 77 stations — owned by major broadcasters, such as CBS, ABC and Sinclair Broadcast Group — had aired video news releases without properly labeling them. Here is the full article: FCC asks TV stations about labeling of “video news releases”
Sinclair owns WEAR TV3.
We would like to see newspapers (and those lovely new faux news tabloids) have to disclose how much advertising each business bought to be included in an article. For example, if Bill Pipes of Plumbing Magic has a profile in Home & Garden, how much advertising did he buy?
Or if a news brief is really just a press release with one quote added, then disclose it. Most public relations people in town will admit getting a news article in the PNJ is as easy as emailing a press release. If you include a picture, then the likelihood of publication increases ten-fold.