FCC News: VNR fines and minority media-ownership

Here’s another good reason to avoid using a Video News Release (VNR) without proper attribution: You could be fined!

According to the Hollywood Reporter, for the first time ever, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is calling for a $4,000 fine against Comcast for showing a VNR without telling viewers they got paid for it.

Comcast says that airing parts of a VNR for a homeopathic sleeping aid within a newscast does not violate FCC rules. A spokesperson for the company says cable programming is not covered by the relevant statue and that Comcast did not receive “consideration or benefit by using the material.”

In another development involving the FCC, Broadcasting & Cable reports that three members of Congress are calling for the FCC to create a minority media-ownership task force.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is quoted as stating, “It is unacceptable for the FCC to move ahead with plans to allow for more media consolidation without first addressing how to increase minority ownership.”

3 Responses

  1. I do some work with NAB and am familiar with Conyers’ concerns — I think women and minorities deserve a fair share of media involvement. But I think free competition is equally as important.

    I recently came across a Chicago Tribune op-ed with some examples of how broadcasters are increasing opportunities for women and minorities while maintaining the flexibility in media that encourages growth.

    It noted that broadcasters are pushing Congress to revive a dormant program that gives tax incentives to stations that sell properties to women and minorities. Broadcasters also finance leadership training and career development programs for women.

    Check out the column here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/printedition/tuesday/chi-oped0918broadcasterssep18,0,6268536.story

  2. […] If you need another reason besides basic journalism ethics not to use video news releases, here is another reason. […]

  3. You are absolutely right! Much better to say “another reason!”

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