Media Reform Activists Defend VNR Study

Media Reform Activists Defend VNR Study 1The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has issued a rebuttal to claims by the Radio-Television News Directors Association that its study finding that 77 stations had used unattributed video news releases VNRs in their newscasts was biased and inaccurate.

Tim Karr, campaign director for Free Press, which teamed with Center for Media and Democracy on the study, called RTNDA’s letter to the FCC asking it to rescind letters of inquiry to the 77 stations “a spurious attempt to smother an investigation and undermine the public interest.”

RTNDA argued the letters had had a chilling effect on TV newsrooms. “TV stations willing to disclose where the video in their newscast comes from should feel no chill at all,” said CMD senior researcher Diane Farsett, who co-authored the study. “As the FCC stated in its April 2005 Public Notice on VNRs, news audiences have the right to know “who seeks to influence them.”