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77 TV stations aired 'fake news reports'
A study by a group that monitors the media reveals that, over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content, RAW STORY has found.
One "news report" that aired on three stations relied on a video news release (VNR) produced by a PR firm on behalf of General Motors which was even apparently based on a "false claim."
Center for Media and Democracy's Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed is "a multimedia report on television newsrooms' use of material provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients," containing video footage of the 36 video news releases (VNRs) cited in the report, plus a map and spreadsheet of the stations cited.
Although the number of media formats and outlets has exploded in recent years, television remains the dominant news source in the United States. More than three-quarters of U.S. adults rely on local TV news, and more than 70 percent turn to network TV or cable news on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a January 2006 Harris Poll. The quality and integrity of television reporting thus significantly impacts the public's ability to evaluate everything from consumer products to medical services to government policies.