When is local TV not really local? According to reporting by ThinkProgress, Sinclair Broadcast Group provides its stations with content that each station is required to run as part of its local news programming. The content is referred to as “must run” material. The stations do not identify the programming as having been provided by their corporate owner and thus this material appears to be from the local station itself. Deadspin recently posted a video that dramatically showcased this practice. How does this shady policy shape public perception? Here’s John Oliver in a segment from late last year after Sinclair had announced its plan to acquire Tribune Media. He expertly and hilariously points out the deceptive nature and pernicious consequences of this practice. [NSFW – language]
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