UH-Produced 'Fake News' Has Recurring Role in Hawaii Newscasts

Video news reports produced by University of Hawaii communications staff are popping up in hundreds of Hawaii newscasts, raising questions about the integrity of local journalism and whether broadcast stations are delivering fair, independently reported coverage.

Since last year, the university’s new seven-person media production team has been sending ready-to-air video news releases containing footage of various events and announcements to the state’s three broadcast stations. (Read related story on UH's new stepped-up public relations effort.)

A report generated by local media monitoring agency Dateline Media shows that, as of mid-March, the stations — KHON, KITV and Hawaii News Now, which includes KFVE, KGMB and KHNL — had run UH-produced videos in morning and evening newscasts 333 times.

With the filmed interviews showing only an anonymous microphone, the videos are made to look like regular news reports. They contain captions bearing the university’s logo, although it's unclear whether the public is always told the segments are actually produced by UH.

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