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White House Getting Into VNR Business?

Ok, so it wasn’t exactly the biggest news story. The NCAA Champion UCONN Women’s Basketball team visited the White House last month to meet with President Obama, as is customary with most championship teams.

However, for this visit, the administration barred reporters from covering the event, and instead issued their own video report, complete with news video elements such as a lower third. ABC’s Jake Tapper first brought attention to the video. TVNewser is also reporting the story.

Writes Tapper:

It’s perfectly fine, of course, for the White House to put out its own version of events — but is it right to do so by preventing actual reporters from covering something? (Even something like a pickup basketball game). Do Obama White House officials think their media coverage isn’t flattering enough?

If anything, the video resembles a video news release, or VNR, which was once a more common tool used to produce corporate video that looked more like a news story, and hence was more likely to be used by actual news channels in their broadcasts.

A congressional investigation along with FCC actions back in 2006 limited the use of VNRs, and multiple sources have told PRNewser they are rarely used anymore. However, b-roll video, which is raw video clips not packaged up to look like a news story, can still be effective if the video is compelling and used right, sources tell us. Medialink, a publicly traded company and one of the largest producers of corporate video, recently reported a Q1 revenue decline of 34.5%, in addition to publicly stating that it may “cease operations if it doesn’t receive third-party investment or attract a buyer.”

Back to the White House produce video, we want to get your take in the following poll:

Should the White House have produced its own video of this event?(opinion polls)

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