News propaganda

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News propaganda is a type of propaganda covertly packaged as credible news, but without sufficient transparency concerning the news item's source and the motivation behind its release. Transparency of the source is one parameter critical to distinguish between news propaganda and traditional news press releases and video news releases.

As with any propaganda, news propaganda may be spread for widely different reasons including governance, political or ideological motivations, partisan agendas, religious or ethnic reasons, and commercial or business motivations; their purposes are not always clear. News propaganda also can be motivated by national security reasons, especially in times of war or domestic upheaval.

United Kingdom[edit]

Government produced "news"[edit]

The UK Foreign Office, which spent £340m on propaganda activities in the UK alone in 2001 [1], previously funded British Satellite News, a free television news and feature service. Production of British Satellite News ceased in September 2009.

The Foreign Office is also the primary funder of the BBC World Service, but as part of the BBC it has complete editorial and managerial independence.

United States[edit]

Government produced "news"[edit]

In the United States, according to a report by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Barstow in The New York Times, the George W. Bush administration has been increasingly criticized for the aggressive use of a tool typical of public relations: previously prepared, ready-to-serve news that big corporations regularly distribute to TV stations in order to sell products or services[citation needed]. What is referred to by the report as propaganda is usually distributed through the use of a Video news release (or VNR).

A New York Times editorial (March 16, 2005) entitled "And now, the counterfeit news" affirms that at least 20 U.S. federal agencies, like the Department of Defense and the U.S. Census Bureau, produced and distributed hundreds of TV news reports since 2001 that were aired as if they were produced by the media. The same report says that this practice was also utilized by the Clinton Administration. Another report [2] details the use of this practice by the United States Department of Agriculture.


During the 2010 financial crisis in Greece, the media openly played a protecting role towards the government. Mainly the news program of Mega Channel has been criticised by many other media as well as political parties as playing a role as part of the government propaganda in favour of the International Monetary Fund.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Further reference[edit]

Media watchdog organizations[edit]

Movies with related themes[edit]