It would take a very attentive and savvy viewer to catch those vague bits of disclosure. And if such sins of omission weren’t enough, Buckelew is a former reporter at KWTV, and is thus familiar to viewers in Oklahoma City as a credible source of news.
Despite Archer’s story, Griffin hasn’t changed the way it handles the promotions. What’s at stake here isn’t Insure Oklahoma’s bona fides, and the segments do draw attention to the need for health insurance for employees of small businesses. But news outlets owe it to their audiences to clearly distinguish between news and paid promotion.

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

 

More in Darts and Laurels

Darts & Laurels 

Read More »

Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.