WNEP-16, 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.

WNEP-16 is a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania-based television station and a part of the ABC network.

Station Owner

The New York Times Company

Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours

In the 5pm news bulletin on February 22, 2006 the station broadcast an edited and re-voiced version of a video news release produced by MultiVu for the vitamin and supplement company Leiner Health Products about two over-the-counter nutritional supplements. [1]

Statement from the News Director

Following the release of the report "Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed" [2], which included the details of WNEP's VNR use, the station's news director, Dennis Fisher, issued the following statement. [3]

On February 22, 2006, Newswatch 16 mistakenly used text and video from a public relations firm without disclosing the source. The story concerned a New England Journal of Medicine study of the dietary supplements Glucosamine and Chondroitin. A related story appeared on WNEP.com.
The material came from a Video News Release, or VNR, produced by MultiVu, a public relations firm hired by a company that makes and sells dietary supplements. Our reporter thought the material was from the New England Journal of Medicine. She made an honest mistake.
Our policy requires us to disclose the source of the materials we use in our news reports, and to properly attribute everything. In this case, we failed to do that.
We have a duty to our viewers to present the news accurately and fairly, and to properly attribute the sources of all the materials that go into our reports. We take that responsibility very seriously, and we recognize our error. We sincerely apologize to our viewers.
Dennis Fisher
WNEP-TV News Director

Contact Details

16 Montage Mountain Road
Moosic, PA 18507
Phone (Switch): 570-346-7474
Fax Newsroom: 570-207-1344
Web: http://www.wnep.com

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