Monday, January 08, 2007

"Video press releases" trash TV news credibility

An addendum to the previous post.

Maybe the new Turnbull Center, devoted to teaching "strategic communication" and training would-be PR flacks, is onto something: PR is the new news.

On today's Oregonian Commentary page is a report about how TV stations (two of them local) are running "video press releases" without revealing that the stories are produced by self-serving, corporate PR practitioners. (Sorry I can't find the link to the Oregonian piece which is on B5 of today's paper, but I have found a version of it at Common Dreams).

The "O" commentary article by Henry Geller and Diane Farsetta lists two Portland stations, KOIN-TV and KPTV, as offenders.

Sadly, the news broadcasters' trade association, citing the First Amendment, says it's perfectly OK to keep the public in the dark about who is producing the "news".

The broadcasters need to be reminded of the quaint concept of credibility.

If the TV news industry pollutes its water, no one will drink it.

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