RTNDA Denounces FCC’s Probe of Video News Releases

Oct 6, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The Radio-Television News Directors Association said today that the Federal Communications Commission’s probe of local TV stations’ use of Video News Releases is “an unprecedented intrusion into newsroom operations” and should be called off.

The RTNDA also wants the FCC to rescind letters of inquiry sent to 77 TV stations in August.

In a statement, the RTNDA questioned the accuracy and objectivity of a study conducted by the Center for Media and Democracy of VNR use, and noted that even the FCC said sponsor identification is not an issue when there is no pay-for-play or other consideration.

The comments also suggested the FCC should first conclude a pending VNR-use proceeding before initiating a new probe.

The RTNDA told the FCC its members “are committed to providing accurate and credible news stories. That commitment extends to appropriate identification of materials received from third-party sources.” But the RTNDA said the First Amendment restricts governmental constraints aimed at the policing of newsroom practices.