State Is Committed to VNR IDs

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The State Department, for one, identifies all of its video-news releases.

That was the word from Robert Tappan, principal deputy assistant secretary of state, at a speech at the Finnish Embassy in Washington Monday night.

While Tappan suggested VNRs were necessary to remain current with the technological times, he also said that state, "has to play tennis with a net," by which, he said, he meant their use must be guided by ethical rules, with credibility the key to getting State's message across and transparency and attribution the keys to that credibility.

All State Department VNR's are clearly marked he said, But Tappan also said it is a two-way street. "Journalists need to give proper attribution, whether it is a corporate or government VNR."

The Justice Department has advised government agencies that unattributed VNRs are not illegal covert propaganda, an opinion at odds with an earlier opinion by the Government Accountability Office.

The speech was sponsored by The NewsMarket, which supplies b-roll and VNRs to a number of clients, inluding State, GM and the AARP.

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