America’s Fake News alert is warning for UK
It’s no surprise that PR firms produce broadcast video – it’s part of their toolkit to influence viewpoints. You often see some of their material incorporated into news stories you see on TV, suitably labelled.
However the US is not quite the same. PR firms there make entire news packages complete with ‘reporters’ and ‘expert interviewees’. They then farm these ‘stories’ out to local TV stations.
The shocking thing is that some of those stations put this stuff on air, and without any attribution.
There’s a whole report about it here, complete with example recordings.
What I’m concerned about, in the era of internet distribution is how easy it is for PR firms and big corporations here to do much the same thing. Released from the trust and authority of regulated broadcasters we risk becoming progressively mis-informed.