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Hiring Real Reporters for Fake News
"The Department of Homeland Security has tapped Ogilvy PR to provide real journalists for its biennial mock terrorist exercise," reports PR Week. (An earlier Spin noted the TOPOFF 3 exercise.) Ogilvy "will pick six journalists to cover the simulated attack," for what DHS is calling the Virtual News Network. Other activities will occur in Britain. Ogilvy has assisted with the TOPOFF exercises since 2000. Although participating journalists "cannot currently be accredited to a news organization," media ethicists have questioned government payments to reporters.