Still Not the News

Still Not the News: Video News Releases

From April to October 2006, the Center for Media and Democracy documented television newsrooms' use of selected video news releases (VNRs). While the number of VNRs tracked equals roughly two percent of the total offered to newsrooms over the six-month period, this report provides a detailed and representative survey of how VNRs are incorporated into newscasts.

Click on the links below to read more about each VNR, including the client(s) that funded it, the TV stations that aired it, and the techniques that each station used to incorporate the VNR into its newscast. You can also compare Quicktime videos of the original VNRs with selected newscasts that incorporated them.

040_tbl_img.jpg Oil Lobbyist's "News" Denies Inconvenient Truths
TCS Daily
WTOK-11's hot air misleads viewers
037_tbl_img.jpg Huey Lewis and the Fake News
Oticon A/S
Four stations remove the built-in disclosures on a hearing aid VNR
068_tbl_img.jpg Feed a Cold, Starve the Truth
Matrixx Initiatives
Two stations sneeze at built-in VNR notifications
067_tbl_img.jpg Mike Morris Gets His Big Break
General Mills
Two stations dress publicist up as reporter for Halloween
050_tbl_img.jpg Doctored News
Siemens Oncology
A publicist delivers a "health report" at two newscasts
041_tbl_img2.jpg Would You Buy a Car From This Man?
General Motors
KMSP-9 helps rev up convertible sales
060_tbl_img.jpg "Life Insurance Is Like Money in the Bank!"
An insurance company is in good hands with a VNR-friendly news team
044_tbl_img.jpg A Campaign for Hearts and Kidneys
American College of Physicians
KSFY-13 passively discloses, NY1 shows another side of medical VNR
055_tbl_img.jpg A Scanner Fakely
Siemens Oncology
Two stations praise brand-name medical technology
047_tbl_img.jpg Fake Newshounds with Worms
Companion Animal Parasite Council
Once again, WCTI-12 hosts hidden interests
059_tbl_img.jpg Yes, But Can It Protect You From Fake News?
Trend Micro
A Comcast station goes all out to push laptop security software
063_tbl_img.jpg Puppy Dog Tales
Old Mother Hubbard
A report on natural pet food has promotional byproducts
052_tbl_img.jpg Beware of Flood-Damaged Car Stories
Three stations fix up a promotional VNR and sell it as journalism
064_tbl_img.jpg Whose Byline Is It Anyway?
One station is crystal clear on a VNR's source, the other one isn't
065_tbl_img.jpg WJAR-10 Gives Viewers a Shot in the Dark
A station uses a flu vaccine VNR, but omits the disclosure and risk info
069_tbl_img.jpg Undisclosed Fake News Includes Hidden Interests
American College of Physicians
Three stations air a medical VNR, no questions asked
045_tbl_img.jpg Driven Into the Arms of Others
KHSL-12 obliges an insurance company while KGO-7 fronts for three
038_tbl_img.jpg Kansas City Newsroom on Auto Play
General Motors
WDAF-4's safety segment is really a car ad
043_tbl_img.jpg I Want a New (Birth Control) Drug
Barr Pharmaceuticals
KYW-3 helps push brand-name pills
061_tbl_img.jpg News Flash: Art Fennell Loves Pancakes
General Mills
For Bisquick's birthday, CN8 gives away its viewers
039_tbl_img.jpg KLFY-10 Carries Water for Allstate
A station pushes flood insurance over journalism
053_tbl_img.jpg Multiple Soundbites for Novartis
A VNR touts a drug before FDA approval
057_tbl_img.jpg WAKA-8 Takes the Back Seat
General Motors
A station forgets to credit GM for a story on teen drivers
051_tbl_img.jpg The Morning-After Shills
Barr Phamaceuticals
Stations air a pharmaceutical company VNR without attribution
046_tbl_img.jpg This Just In: GM Loves Kids
General Motors
A KLFY-10 child safety segment is really a GM ad
042_tbl_img.jpg Signaling Support for Siemens
Siemens AS
Warning: Pilots and XETV-6 viewers may see red
048_tbl_img.jpg GM Gets a Free Ride in New York
General Motors
WPIX-11 adds soundtrack, but no disclosure, to fake news
062_tbl_img.jpg More Than Meets the Eye
Advanced Medical Optics
WYTV-33 promotes lens replacements
066_tbl_img.jpg Lost in Translation
A Spanish-language newscast adapts a VNR but forgets the disclosure
054_tbl_img.jpg What's Sex Got To Do with It?
Nelson's Rescue Sleep
Two newsrooms sleep as a "hard sell" VNR airs
049_tbl_img.jpg Nice Shirt, But Where's the Label?
WTIC-61 tries a corporate VNR on for size
056_tbl_img.jpg Bowls and Balls
General Mills
Football's Doug Flutie is a Wheaties flunky
058_tbl_img.jpg E! Gets an "F" For Non-Disclosure
Victoria's Secret
Entertainment network pushes "very sexy" makeup