Folkenflik speaks truth
A great Media Circus column by NPR's David Folkenflik on how media companies are acting more like companies and less like news organizations.
The recounting of the conversation with the CNN representative is wonderfully sardonic, dissembling the standard crap answer of "there's no way to know" in this case how many video news releases CNN gave its imprimatur to by distributing them under CNN Newsource. (Not much there -- just a log in page; I link just for the record. Newsource, by the way, has become a standard tool in many university broadcast journalism programs. You can draw your own conclusions.)
(See flap over Bush administration VNRs. Ditch the spin from this Conservative Voice column and you get a pretty good idea of the controversy.)
CNN isn't alone. Check out some other media organizations. AP just does the news, right? Well, not exactly. Its APTN division, for instance, openly touts on the Web its services to not only distribute, but produce, VNRs for clients under "How we can make your video news release a success." And it provides a helpful sampling of recent VNRs from McDonald's, Disney and others.
But do you find it interesting, as I do, that NPR, this progressive organization with some pretty good Web presence, provides no way to e-mail its correspondents except through a filter address?