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RTNDA Urges Caution, Disclosure for Audio News Releases

RTNDA Urges Caution, Disclosure for Audio News Releases

Should radio journalists use so-called “audio news releases”?
The Radio-Television News Directors Association has reissued its guidelines on such releases, thanks to concerns that they may be framed as a news story or would contain voice-overs by someone purporting to be a journalist. The organization’s action comes in the wake of The Department of Health and Human Service’s distribution of a video news release about the benefits of the Medicare drug bill.
RTNDA’s position paper states: “RTNDA does not endorse the use of so-called video news release, but neither do we reject their use, as long as that use conforms to the association’s Code of Ethics. The RTNDA Code of Ethics calls on radio and television journalists to guard against using audio or video material in a way that deceives the audience. Accordingly, RTNDA believes that sound journalistic practice calls for clear identification of all material received from outside sources, including material distributed in the form of video or audio news releases.”
For the RTNDA Code of Ethics, visit