Fake News as Free Speech

PR Week reports on the video news release industry's response to Senator Byrd's one-year measure and the Truth in Broadcasting Act, both of which require disclaimers for pre-packaged "news" segments. The CEO of D S Simon Productions believes "the temporary amendment was preferable to the permanent ban because it is tied to specific spending." The CEO of Medialink said of the Truth in Broadcasting Act, "I think this is a law written by people not in the broadcasting or PR business," and warned that the legislation "could limit free speech." The president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association called the legislation "unnecessary," since the "accepted standard is to clearly identify material from outside sources." She also said that "government regulation of news content" would be "unprecedented and unconstitutional."


Just wondering out loud how typical news releases are viewed versus VNRs. Both serve the same purpose but use different formats. Is there an outcry on news releases? While some in PR are unethical, most are ethical. Ultimately, it's up to the media outlet to decide what is news and what is not. And, yes I work in public relations. -- Mike