Just in case you ever wondered if that 3 minute pean to General Motors on your local news was an advertorial, it was. Not to mention the piece about terrorism, Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman.
Advertising Age - MediaWorks - FCC Investigates Video News Releases The Federal Communications Commission today said it has asked 42 TV stations to explain whether they properly identified “video news releases” that they aired as being generated and paid for by outside interests....
The 42 stations were among 77 accused in April by two consumer groups, the Center for Media Democracy and Free Press, of airing the news releases -- essentially PR content akin to an “advertorial” in a magazine -- without disclosing their origins, a violation of FCC rules.
“They pawned it off as their own reporting,” said John Stauber, executive director of the Madison, Wis.-based Center for Media Democracy, who called the results of his group's 10-month look at TV stations' use of video news releases “extremely shocking.”
Video news releases (VNRs) are reports created by companies or government agencies that mimic the look and feel of a newscast, often using a spokesperson who is presented as a reporter, but all information in the report is vetted by the group paying the bill.
Though both consumer groups filed complaints with the FCC, the Center for Media Democracy did the research that led to the charges and reported that the TV stations actively disguised sponsored content from companies including General Motors Corp., Intel, Pfizer and Capital One to make the VNRs look like their own reporting.
At least on The Daily Show, you know the news is fake.