Fake TV news

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FAKE TV NEWS: WIDESPREAD AND UNDISCLOSED is the title of a report released April 6, 2006, by the Center for Media and Democracy. This multi-media report is the result of an intensive ten-month investigation by CMD's senior researcher Diane Farsetta and research consultant Daniel Price. It documents for the first time how commercial propaganda -- fake TV news created by PR experts -- is being extensively broadcast as TV "news". The Center for Media and Democracy and the media reform group Free Press simultaneously filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission requesting a crack-down on TV news fraud and calling for mandatory on-screen labeling of all phony news stories so that TV viewers know what is real reporting, and what is fake TV news.

The report FAKE TV NEWS: WIDESPREAD AND UNDISCLOSED is also available in PDF format. The URL to download the PDF of the report is:

On November 14, 2006, CMD release its follow-up report titled "Still Not The News," further documenting the ongoing and widespread problem of fake TV news. [1]

The term "fake TV news" usually refers to the widespread and undisclosed use of video news releases by commercial television news producers. Thousands of VNRs are produced each year by public relations firms and experts on behalf of corporations and government agencies. These appear to be TV news stories, but in fact they are biased stories favorable to the corporate or government client who paid for the creation and distribution of the fake TV news. TV journalists commit plagiarism when they take VNRs and disguise them as their own reporting, rather than labeling them so that viewers can see who provided the fake news and on whose behalf. Fake TV news is very widespread but very hidden because it exists as a secret arrangement between PR firms and TV news producers and news editors. The VNRs are very difficult to obtain outside the domain of the commercial TV newsroom.

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