*Content Pollution* - VNRs (Video News Releases) That Threaten the Integrity of TV NewsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


*Content Pollution* - VNRs (Video News Releases) That Threaten the Integrity of TV News

4 December 2006 at 1:20:01 PM

Opinion column in the Star-Telegram that points out that TV News shouldn't have to have regulators breathing down its neck to stop showing VNRs, improperly identified or not at all, as part of newscasts. TV News integrity is at stake (I would argue that TV News integrity, particularly on cable, has been floating in the toilet for some time ready for a flush). But I do agree that these VNRs pollute the news.

We're now flooded with content that looks like news, via the Internet, cable, cellphones, satellite radio, iPods and the like.

What's rare are the channels for real news, and those franchises grow ever more precious. The VNR inroads threaten to make TV news indistinguishable from the endlessly proliferating forms of infotainment by which commercial objectives are engulfing and corrupting the flow of essential news and information.

Here's an example of a Fake News VNR segment I saw on Dallas's Fox News-but this one was at least properly labeled.

P.S. Medialink's revenue dropped by 12.9% in the last quarter of this year in its domestic broadcast services. Could it be that unattributed use of VNR's is starting to snowball?

VNRs on the march. Look at a few examples.

WANE TV in Indiana has a page full of Medialink's VNR-(Compare with the Medialink site) List at this writing includes

    • Create memories this holiday that will last a lifetime (General Mills)
    • Do you know what you own?(Allstate)
    • Trim your tree and your energy bill this season (Phillips)
    • Find your way to Grandma's House (General Motors) (Selling On-Star)
    • New Technology to Monitor AIDS in Africa (BD Diagnostics)
    • Ethanol as an alternative to Gasoline (General Motors)
    • New Technology Reveals Player Preferences (Teradata)
    • Keep Your Electronics Safe (Allstate)
    • Breakthrough Canine Vaccine Helps Prevent Tooth and Gum Disease (Pfizer Animal Health)
    • Moving Bags More Quickly (Siemens)

This site from La Crosse, Wisconsin shows the same video list, entitled "In the Know" but doesn't identify them on that page as being advertisements.

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