Nearly a dozen local TV news stations ran the same Amazon-produced segment touting warehouse working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece, according to a company press release, included pre-recorded footage of fulfillment centers, interviews with workers, and a prewritten script for on-air anchors.
A video compiled by Courier Newsroom (below) highlights the verbatim text passed off by numerous U.S. stations as their own reporting. One—Toledo ABC affiliate WTVG—acknowledged that the package was penned by an Amazon employee; WTVG* and WGXA in Macon, Ga., also noted that Amazon supplied the content.
Elsewhere, producers ran the story with no credit in Miami, Fla. (WTVJ-NBC); Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN-ABC); Lexington, Ky. (WLEX-NBC); Bluefield, W.V. (WVVA-NBC and WOAY-ABC); Columbus, Ga. (WTVM-ABC); Palm Springs, Calif. (KMIR-NBC); and Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WBTW-CBS).
Wes Armstead, news director of Bluefield NBC affiliate WVVA, pleaded ignorance, telling Courierthat "I was not aware the package was provided by Amazon," and promising that "We'll make sure it …