RTNDA to FCC: VNR use not widespread

The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) filed comments with the FCC last week telling the commission that the use of prepackaged news stories or unidentified audio and video from government agencies or corporate entities is not the widespread practice recent reports suggest. Almost universally, respondents said, local station policies prohibit the use of complete prepackaged news stories from non-editorial sources.

Based on about 100 responses to an informal survey of its members, RTNDA reported that news executives said third-party material generally is used in their newscasts only when the material is relevant to a news story and cannot be obtained through a news source. When outside material is used, it is most often excerpted or used as background footage. Respondents, who said their stations permit usage in some form, indicated that their policy is to clearly disclose the origin of the information and label all materials.

RTNDA submitted comments June 22 in response to the Public Notice (MB Docket No. 05-171, FCC 05-84) issued by the FCC regarding the use of video news releases (VNRs) by broadcast licensees, cable operators, and others in compliance with the FCC’s sponsorship identification rules.

For more information, visit www.rtnda.org.

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