ITN chief calls for fewer VNRs and more access

The rapid growth in video news releases has been attacked by ITN’s editor-in-chief, Richard Tait, as ’a very serious issue which we must address’.

The rapid growth in video news releases has been attacked by ITN’s

editor-in-chief, Richard Tait, as ’a very serious issue which we must

address’.



He was speaking in Berlin at News World ’97, the annual conference of

the international TV news industry.



’We want more access, not more VNRs. I am interested in journalism not

advertisements,’ said Tait, who called for more openness by big

corporations and for broadcasters to ’keep their nerve’.



But during a debate entitled Third Hand News, chaired by BBC’s Peter

Snow, other television executives were less hostile to the rise of

VNRs.



The head of CBC News in Canada, Kelly Crighton, said: ’These things are

inevitable. We probably use more corporate material than we think we

do ... It depends on how honest they (VNR producers) are. We need to

know if so-called independent producers are truly independent, and we

should always label VNR material clearly for the viewers.’



Anthony Hayward of the VNR supplier Bulletin International vigorously

defended the use of video by companies, arguing that ’video news

release’ was a confusing phrase, preferring to say ’background

material’.



He believes that ’videos simply help broadcasters to illustrate press

releases. Very often it is a win-win situation. Broadcasters often can’t

afford to send a crew to a press conference, or to shoot production line

pictures at short notice.’



Larry Moskowitz, president of Medialink, insisted that VNRs help

journalists, adding: ’This battle for influence over the news has

probably been going on forever. The runner from Marathon to Athens was

probably carrying a press release. Today it would be a cassette.’



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.

Max Clifford trial jury reconvenes with majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury reconvenes with majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has reconvened after being told by the judge yesterday afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.