Health Journalists Blast Govt. Videos

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By: E&P Staff

The Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) criticized the release of video news releases by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The New York Times reported Monday that some local TV stations were running the government-produced videos about changes in Medicare as news stories. The videos were reportedly edited and produced to look like news reports, including production company workers who portrayed journalists.

In a statement today, the AHCJ said: “We ask that the practice be stopped. Viewers expect that anyone identified as a reporter is a journalist employed by a news organization. In this case, the so-called reporter was working for a public relations firm hired by a government agency. We find that misidentification unacceptable.”

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that all or parts of the mock news story aired 53 times on 40 stations in 33 markets.

AHCJ represents over 700 journalists covering health and medicine.

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