Imagining Real News

Would you miss this? Or be upset if it were labeled?Kevin Foley, the head of the PR firm KEF Media Associates and president of the National Association of Broadcast Communicators, has warned of dire consequences if broadcasters are required to disclose video news releases (VNRs) to viewers. "Imagine tuning to your local nightly newscast and not seeing footage of hurricanes, car crash tests, product recalls, the latest electronic gadget, drug and other health information, movie clips and trailers or out of town sports," he wrote. Bill Huey, president of the Atlanta-based PR firm Strategic Communications, took up Foley's invitation. "Actually, I can do without most of those things on television news. And if it makes TV news a little less visual while causing stations to work a little harder to fill those precious few minutes between commercials, that's fine with me," he wrote. "VNRs are the leaf blowers of television news. They make lazy people lazier." Huey wrote that while Atlanta is a top ten television market, "you wouldn't know it looking at the local news."