RTNDA Tells Stations To ID All VNRs

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The Radio-Television News Directors Association wants stations to toughen up their VNR policies, including clearly identifying all outside material used in news programming.

That comes in the wake of an investigation by Free Press and the Center For Media and Democracy that concluded that at least 77 stations were airing VNRs without attribution, and branding them with their own graphics. The practice is not illegal, but RTNDA has always urged disclosure.

RTNDA's code of ethics requires all outside material used in newscasts to disclose their source (http://www.rtnda.org/foi/finalvnr.shtml). FCC rules require it only with material of a political or controversial nature.

"The Radio-Television News Directors Association strongly urges station management to review and strengthen their policies requiring complete disclosure of any outside material used in news programming," the association said in a printed news release.

RTNDA President Barbara Cochran says it is crucial to "make sure everyone in the newsroom is clear on what the policy is."

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