Nick Davies reports that a UK subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation "has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists' repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories." "The payments," he reports, "secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators w
The National Pork Board and its public relations firm, Weber Shandwick, are working "to distance 'the other white meat' from the outbreak of swine flu in the U.S." The industry group "is highlighting health and safety measures at hog raising and production facilities in the U.S. and assuring consumers and media that pork products are safe to eat ...
To promote its state insurance program, Oklahoma is paying $3.1 million over three years to local media company Griffin Communications. Griffin's bid for the state contract touted its "built-in network of companies to deliver the message," including television stations KWTV in Oklahoma City and KOTV and KQCW in Tulsa, and the 34 stations of the Radio Oklahoma Network. The Insure Oklahoma campaign spokesperson is former KWTV reporter Angela Buckelew, who "appears during news programming" on KWTV, KOTV and KQCW.
The Halifax-Plympton Reporter received a letter to the editor urging "that people contact their congressman about the Medicare Advantage program," a "sort of privatized health plan paid for via the recipient's Medicare. Reportedly, there's some interest in doing away with the program." The actual, physical letter was in the name of a local resident, but it didn't mention any of the local Congressional delegation, which the newspaper's editor, Matthew Nadler, found strange.
Local television stations are increasingly open to product placement. The Meredith Corporation's "syndicated hour-long lifestyle program 'Better' (named in part after the company's Better Homes & Gardens magazine)" includes space for local stations to add in sponsored segments.
NPR notes that "times could hardly be better at the Fox News Channel, the cable channel liberals love to hate. ... Ratings estimates from Nielsen Media Research indicate audience levels are up significantly -- to extremely high levels for cable news -- making Fox News among the highest rated of all basic cable channels.