VIAbility Results

So, what did you think? Were both examples on the previous page VIAble? How so? 

Here's our take on each:

Example 1 - Is your child constantly sick?

To assess VIAbility, let's look at what the main point of this story is: 

  • A two minute blood test that can help diagnose allergies in children, and help prevent further complications later in life. 

Sounds pretty good -- however, the piece talks about a specific test -- Immunocap (sp?), and a specific lab that processes the test -- Quest Diagnostics without referencing other tests that children can take. Nor does it tell us how the test works. So, no real verification here. 

Next, how independent & accountable is this outlet? We see that the story has run on an ABC affiliate news broadcast--which tells us that its a major news outlet, which will stand behind the story. A viewer could also reach out to the station if they felt something was misstated in the story. The only thing missing is an actual reporter. While we do see the ANCHOR (the woman at the top and the end of the story) introducing it, the reporter of the story is never identified, which is troubling.

Here's the scoop on this piece: 

KABC-7 in Los Angeles aired that two-minute news segment on a blood test that can help diagnose allergies in children. What the station didn't tell its viewers was that the entire story was built from a video news release (VNR) funded by Quest Diagnostics, which runs thousands of lab centers across the United States where people go to have such tests done. They story mentions Quest and the Immunocap test kit. In adapting the story, producers at KABC-7 edited the VNR slightly for length and rearranged the order of clips and soundbites. To help disguise the VNR as a product of their station, KABC-7 swapped the male voice-over of the MutliVu publicist, using an un-identified female, and replaced all text and graphic displays with network-branded substitutes.

Other things to look out for in this story: 

  • The report does not provide any details about the doctor’s affiliation or even his hometown.
  • No last name or hometown given for the patient and her mother
  • No explanation why the source was not identified.
  • No sources, written or human, other than the doctor.