Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SocietyMassCom: The Other Fake News: VNRs and Native Advertising (W9-P2) Fa17

Fake news is not new.

While the term “fake news” can be traced back to the 1890s during the time of yellow journalism in U.S. newspapers of the 1890s.  This form of sensational journalism exaggerated and even fabricated parts or whole news stories.

The label “fake news” was also used over two decades ago to describe the use of video news releases in some local TV news casts.

We covered previously the relationship between the government and journalism.  Now let’s take a look at the relationship between journalism and business, specifically video news releases (VNRs).

Video News Releases (VNRs)

Watch the following clip from a local TV news cast.

When watching the above clip from a news broadcast what are your reasonable assumptions?  That the people interviewed are local people?  That this is a local story?  That the reporter did the interviews and wrote the story?  That this is real news?

Now, check out this next video which was written and produced by independent video company and funded by Quest Diagnostics, a company that runs lab testing centers around the U.S. where allergy testing is done. 

What did you notice?  What if you started both video clips at about the same time?  Try it. Start the bottom clip, wait a few seconds and start the top clip.  Notice any difference?

The second clip you saw is an example of what is called a video news release (some background).

Video news releases or VNRs are news "segments designed to be indistinguishable from independently-produced news reports that are distributed and promoted to television newsrooms" (SourceWatch).

Native Advertising

Like VNRs, the more recent appearance of native advertising, reveals yet another relationship between the news media and business of which the general public may not be aware. 

Native advertising: "a type of advertising, mostly online, that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears" (Wikipedia).

If you are interested in learning more about VNRs, check out the video and links found below.


KMSP-9 Helps Rev Up Convertible Sales

If you are interested, see another video comparing a local news cast with a VNR on YouTube or check out even more examples of VNRs and local news stories from PRWatch.

In the clip above, Pakman, mentions the FCC's sponsorship identification rules. Here is one rule/law.

"... the Communications Act of 1934, ... requires broadcasters to disclose to their listeners or viewers if matter has been aired in exchange for money, services or other valuable consideration. The announcement must be aired when the subject matter is broadcast. The Commission has adopted a rule, ... which sets forth the broadcasters' responsibilities to make this sponsorship identification" (FCC). 

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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.

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