ABC21 registers objection to use of news content in political ad - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

ABC21 registers objection to use of news content in political ad

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

ABC21 station management on Wednesday notified a Political Action Committee that it objects to a new television spot that uses an altered broadcast news segment.

The spot was produced and paid for by Senate Majority PAC, self-described as a Democratic group focused on Senate campaigns.

This year, that includes the closely watched race between incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, Mike Braun.

On Wednesday, stations across Indiana began airing the Senate Majority PAC campaign ad. In it, ABC21 anchor Brien McElhatten delivers a report (from May 1), citing an Associated Press investigation into business practices at Meyer Distributing, the Jasper, Ind., company owned by Braun.

As it is edited, the ad excerpts sentences and sentence fragments from the initial report, eliminating the ABC21 citation of the Associated Press. A separate part of the ad, which relies on clips from a WRTV, Indianapolis, news report, does note the AP as a source of certain findings.

Additionally, the ad manipulates video that was part of the original ABC21 report to add graphics that were not broadcast by the television news organization.

Federal law restricts what broadcasters can do regarding what they consider unfair use of material. ABC21 management has objected to the ad and requested that it be changed.

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