CNN: FCC cracks down on ‘fake news’ — Owners of 77 TV stations queried on paid video stories

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission has mailed letters to the owners of 77 television stations inquiring about their use of video news releases, a type of programming critics refer to as “fake news.”

. . . FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said Tuesday the letters ask station managers for information regarding agreements between the stations and the creators of the news releases. The FCC also asked whether there was any “consideration” given to the stations in return for airing the material.

“You can’t tell any more the difference between what’s propaganda and what’s news,” Adelstein said.

. . . Stations that received the letters have been given 60 days to respond. If the FCC decides they have violated the rules, punishment could include fines or license revocation.

The CNN/AP story doesn’t mention KOKH Fox 25 specifically, but the report discussed in the article (see the website for Center for Media and Democracy) says that KOKH Fox 25 incorporated 6 VNR’s (video news releases) and/or SMTs (satellite media tours) into their news broadcasts, without adequate disclosure to viewers, more than double the number of any other station in the country that is listed in the report!

Of course I’m not holding my breath, but it wouldn’t break my heart to see KOKH Fox 25 pay some fines or even lose their license. The station (as I’ve discussed before on this blog — see http://jmbzine.com/wordpress/?p=74 and ) has the worst local (ok, calling their newscast “local” is stretching it since so much of it is produced elsewhere) newscast in OKC.