The White House has responded to this story in last Sunday’s New York Times
about how the Bush administration distributes pre-packaged news items
to American TV bulletins, which we referred to yesterday. White House
press secretary Scott McClellan describes these government-produced
video news releases (known as VNRs in the trade) as “an informational
tool”, and says their source is “very clear to the TV stations.” And
the head of Medialink, a large American corporate communications
outfit, says: “The government’s use of VNRs dates back to the
Eisenhower presidency,” and claims the Times “failed to report on the long history of such government education programs.”

But what are VNRs and how do they work? Well a fascinating run-down from the website Sourcewatch.org explains all you need to know.

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