04.10.2006 02:53 PM
RTNDA urges full disclosure

In the wake of last week's report about the use of video news releases without attribution on local television stations, the Radio-Television News Directors Association has urged station management to review and strengthen their policies requiring complete disclosure of any outside material used in news programming.

The RTNDA cited its longstanding policy on the identification of outside material is stated in its code of ethics: “Professional electronic journalists must clearly disclose the origin of information and label all material provided by outsiders.”

The guidelines also state that if outside material is deemed to serve a useful journalistic purpose, it should be used only if the origin is clearly identified.

“The public has a right to expect truthfulness, accuracy and fairness in newscasts. Electronic journalists have every incentive to maintain the bonds of trust with their audiences by clearly disclosing the sources of the material they use,” the RTNDA said in a statement.

The RTNDA Code of Ethics is on its website at: www.rtnda.org/ethics/coe.shtml/. The VNR guidelines are available at www.rtnda.org/foi/finalvnr.shtml.

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