The Dark Side of News

Dan Magerr
We live in a world today where persuasion is everywhere. Whether its informational advertising, similarities, and appearance, people use persuasion in order to obtain something. One of the oldest forms of persuasion today is propaganda. Propaganda is defined as a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself. Today 21st propaganda is craftily hidden and camouflaged into our media but regardless the messages are there. Haven’t your parents or guardian ever told you “Don’t believe everything you hear.” Well you might have never considered this for local news headlines right? Wrong! Televisions newscast are subliminally adding fake news stories which ultimately is a form of persuasion/propaganda. These news stories are called Video News Release. Video News Release is a video segment created by a PR firm, advertising agency, marketing firm, corporation, or government agency and provided to television news stations for the purpose of informing, shaping public opinion, or to promote and publicize individuals, commercial products and services, or other interests. It is essentially fake news that tries to manipulate the public and doesn’t reveal its source. This is a disturbing trend that is becoming more and more common with today’s economy. The public needs to know about Video News Release because many of them are most likely oblivious that something like this even goes on. It was a shock to me when I first found out about Video News Release which is what inspired me to research more about it. It makes you as a viewer question how this is ethical and why do we allow this happen? When the audience is watching their local news stations they assume that a reporter has researched and gathered information from the story. Yet unfortunately this is not always the case. The audience seems to have too much trust in the news anymore and will most likely believe any story they broadcast. This is why Video News Releases need to be exposed and disclose their sources or information. Overall the media is taking advantage of the audience by playing Video News Release, and the public needs to be informed this is happening before 21st century propaganda gets out of hand.


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For another point of view visit my friend Carl's page
VNRs, Creating Distrust in TV News