News comes from startchange.org that the FCC has ruled that government ads must be labeled as such. This is in part due to an email petition at stop fake news, which has managed over 26,900 emails to the FCC, mine included. The fcc ruling - pdf.
Washington Post : 04-14-05
Television broadcasters must disclose to viewers the origin of video news releases produced by the government or corporations when the material runs on the public airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission said yesterday.
The FCC's ruling comes as video news releases produced by the Bush administration and aired as part of local television news reports have come under attack from critics who call them unlabeled Republican propaganda.
"We have a responsibility to tell broadcasters they have to let people know where the material is coming from," said FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, a Democrat. "Viewers are hoodwinked into thinking it's really a news story when it might be from the government or a big corporation trying to influence the way they think. This will put them in a better position to decide for themselves what to make of it."
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As a friend pointed out on a message board, it is not really approiate to celebrate this victory until we see it in practice. Along this same theme, freepress.net provides an additional email petition just to keep the pressure on. I believe this is a very good idea and ask that you consider joining me in continued activism on this issue.