Media Moves

Fox Business posts bylined story taken verbatim from press release

November 15, 2010

Eric Hanonaki of Media Matters for America writes Monday that a story with the byline of Elizabeth MacDonald is actually a a verbatim news release from the American Farm Bureau Federation about the average price of a Thanksgiving dinner.

Hanonaki writes, “The front-page link goes to an article written ‘By Elizabeth MacDonald,’ an editor and on-air personality for Fox Business. There’s just one problem: the text of MacDonald’s article, virtually word-for-word, is from an American Farm Bureau Federation press release from November 12. (The title of MacDonald’s article is slightly different from the AFBF – ‘Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Up Slightly this Year’ vs. ‘Cost of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Up Slightly in 2010’). The original piece is linked in AFBF’s ‘News Release’ archives.

“At no point does acknowledge that the text was written by the AFBF. In other words, readers of the Fox Business report are misled into believing that the report was written and reported by Fox Business staff about numbers from the AFBF — and not that it was written by the AFBF itself.”

Read more here.

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