Fake news: a survey on video news releases and their implications on journalistic ethics, integrity, independence, professionalism, credibility, and commercialization of broadcast news
Public relations practitioners have a very influential role on the content consumers see every day in newspapers and on news broadcasts. The traditional lines between journalism and public relations are now intertwined. This survey looked at video news releases and their implications about journalists' ethics, integrity, professionalism, independence, credibility, and commercialization. 533 participants from three different populations (average viewers, communication college students, and journalists) responded to a 54-question survey that employed two predictors 1) level of experience and 2) years of journalism experience. The results indicated that average viewers found the use of VNRs more unethical than journalists and communication college students. Although, experienced journalists indicated that they believe VNR use is having an impact on journalistic independence and illustrating commercialization in news. This study shows that most people turn to television and the Internet for their main source of news information, but they do not watch local, network, or cable news more than an average of three days a week and for less than 30 minutes a day. The impact of VNRs on news content is becoming an important issue to study as news managers face layoffs and try to figure out how to supplement content at a low cost. VNRs can be downloaded from satellite services for free, but possibly at a cost to traditional journalistic practices.