Gov’t Propaganda on Central Illinois TV

I’m typically keeping an eye on my local media, especially our local Sinclair-owned station. So I’m a little chagrined that I missed a mention of our CBS affiliate WCIA (“We’re watching you, watching us”) in the recent New York Times article on the proliferation of US Gov’t sponsored PR “news” stories getting aired all over on local TV news programs:

To fill the gap, WCIA turned to the Agriculture Department, which has assembled one of the most effective public relations operations inside the federal government. The department has a Broadcast Media and Technology Center with an annual budget of $3.2 million that each year produces some 90 “mission messages” for local stations – mostly feature segments about the good works of the Agriculture Department.

“I don’t want to use the word filler, per se, but they meet a need we have,” [WCIA News Director] Mr. Gee said.

Thanks to Tarbell’s post to the Urbana-Champaign IMC for calling my attention to this.

Guess I’ve been too busy watching translator stations.