News

US television science news is sometimes public relations in disguise

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39041.373021.DB (Published 23 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1089
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    The science news broadcast by US television stations is sometimes not genuine reporting by a science journalist who works for the television station or the network. Instead it is prepared by a public relations firm for corporate or government clients, says a report from the non-profit making Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).

    Video news releases are designed to look like news reports, but they present the point of view of the sponsor.

    This month's report is a follow-up to a document that the centre issued in April, entitled Fake News (www.prwatch.org/fakenews/execsummary), which says that US television stations often do not divulge the source of prepackaged video information and broadcast it as news (BMJ 2006;332:919).

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