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Inouye Wants FCC to Probe Use of Government News Releases

Mar 16, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, announced Wednesday that he has asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether the unattributed use by TV stations of video news releases produced by federal agencies violates FCC rules.

In a recent memo to federal executive branch agency heads, the White House said it is OK to continue using taxpayer funds to produce and distribute video news releases that are solely informational and don’t promote a point of view. But in a March 14 letter to the FCC, Sen. Inouye slammed stations that edit the video news releases to make it appear that the station reported the story independently.

“Not only does this lack of disclosure represent a serious breach of journalistic ethics, but it also seems to violate FCC rules requiring attribution for the airing of ‘any political broadcast matter’ or ‘the discussion of a controversial issue of public importance,'” Sen. Inouye said. “In light of these troubling developments, the commission should move swiftly to investigate this matter fully and to take any remedial measures necessary to prevent station owners from misleading their viewers.”