WBRZ-2, ABC (TV Station)

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Fake TV News: A CMD Special Report
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This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's special report, Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed.
Click here to read the report summary.

WBRZ-2 is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana television station and an affiliate of the ABC television network.

Station Owner

Manship Media Group

Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours

In the 10pm news bulletin on January 23, 2006 the station broadcast an edited video news release (VNR) produced by Medialink Worldwide for Siemens AG on 'advances' in ethanol. The Medialink publicist appeared on-screen. [1]

On January 23, 2004, WBRZ-2 aired a VNR from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that touted the new Medicare drug plan. a WBRZ anchor introduced that VNR -- which was later found to be covert propaganda -- by saying:[2]

In December, President Bush signed into law the first ever prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare. Since then, there have been a lot of questions about how the law will help older Americans and people with disabilities. Reporter Karen Ryan helps sort through the details.

The October 9, 2002, meeting minutes of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' Breaux Act Task Force list both WBRZ-2 and WVUE-8, a FOX station in New Orleans, as two TV stations that aired a state-funded VNR: [3]

A video news release produced by Hometown Productions (one of the new initiatives funded in October by the Task Force) had a high rate of success. It was aired on ... New Orleans: ... WVUE; Baton Rouge: KBRZ ...

Response to Report

On April 19, 2006, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) reported that WBRZ-2 "has a policy on airing VNRs, [news director Chuck] Bark said: All segments must be approved by a news manager, the segments are to be used only in instances when the information or footage can’t be found from network or cable news sources and the station will clearly identify the source of the footage, verbally and with an on-air graphic."

... But They Still Get Aired

The station was documented airing a video news release by the Center for Media and Democracy, in its November 2006 report "Still Not the News: Stations Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs. [4]

Contact Details

1650 Highland Road
Baton Rouge, LA
70802
Phone: 225.387.2222
Phone (News): 225.336.2344
Fax: 225.336.2246
Web: http://www.2theadvocate.com

SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • Diane Farsetta and Daniel Price, "Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed: A multimedia report on television newsrooms' use of material provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients", Center for Media and Democracy, April 6, 2006.
  • "Group slaps WBRZ segment," The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), April 19, 2006.