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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Bad Journalism, Bad PR or Both

An Alabama TV station, WVUA 7, recently had a run in with a bad video news release posing as a TV news package.

According the The Crimson White, the University of Alabama newspaper, WVUA 7 aired a "reporter package" on February 4, 2004. The VNR covered the benefits of the new Medicare bill that President Bush signed on Dec. 8, 2003. The VNR features statements from Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and ends with the reporter saying, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

Unfortunately for WVUA and its viewers Karen Ryan is not a reporter. In fact, Ryan owns her own communications company Karen Ryan Group Communications.

The story goes HHS contracted Ketchum Advertising, which in turn contracted D.C.-based Home Front Communications, which hired Ryan.

Because WVUA is a local station it takes its national news from CNN Newsource, which is where this clip came from. Obviously the station is now reviewing their news clips more closely.

Read the full story from the Crimson White here.

Catch what The New York Times had to say about this.

Even the Hollywood Reporter says this is bad PR.