Government Publicity and Fake News

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Turning on your television to catch up on the day-s news, you watch a 90-second report which tells you that there is evidence of new and better security at every airport in the US. What you aren-t told is that this is a -video news releases,- produced by the Transportation Security Administration. The reporter-s name is fictitious, created by the public relations firm hired to make the film. Despite President Bush's recent call for a definitive split between government publicity and journalism, 30 government agencies are in full swing, producing short promotional videos and farming them out to TV news organizations. Guest host Diana Nyad examines how much of today-s television news we can really trust with commercial and government news producers, advocates for journalistic excellence, and an expert in political damage control. (This segment originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
  • Making News: Judge Orders State to Apply Nurse-Patient Ratio
    California nurses have rallied in force and won a stricter patient-to-nurse ratio. Effective immediately, hospital medical and emergency room ratios will change from six nurses to every patient to five-to-one. The Schwarzenegger administration claims this will cause a devastating shortage of nurses statewide. Clea Benson is following the story for the Sacramento Bee.

California law on nurse-to-patient ratios (AB 394, 2000)

Benson's article on order to launch nursing rule

Government Accountability Office

MediaLink Worldwide

New York Times article on prepackaged TV news

Poynter Institute

To the Point segment on CBS News, Armstrong Williams and Media Credibility



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton