BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As election day approaches, the airwaves are being flooded with campaign ads, and news outlets are getting swept up in it.
WJZ political reporter Pat Warren is one example.
A campaign ad from Maryland Together We Rise political action committee supporting Ben Jealous that includes this clip of a WJZ report on a Larry Hogan visit with Education Secretary Betsy Devos on March 3, 2017.
Another clip is taken is from another report and included in an ad paid for by the Hogan campaign.
In both cases WJZ was not consulted nor did we provide any footage for these ads.
Because tv stations broadcast over public airwaves, the content can be recorded, edited, and used in political ads without the stations consent.
Dr. Erin Watley is a professor of communications at McDaniel College and tells WJZ local news outlets are often used in ads to lend credibility to the campaign’s message.
“They’ve used the information from perhaps a credible source or a source that looks legitimate and they’ve used it and sort of twisted it to create their own message,” said Dr. Watley, “So you see a lot of repurposing of existing media to create new media messages that get promoted for a particular candidate in this case.”
Advertising is by nature an effort to make viewers believe in the message.
Viewers seeing ads now or in the future that contains content from WJZ should realize that WJZ does not endorse any candidates in this election or in any other.