Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, expressed his concern in a letter to the Sinclair Broadcast Group over its controversial decision to have local TV news anchors deliver a scripted speech warning about fake news.
"I write with concerns following Sinclair Broadcast Group's decision to require local news anchors at Sinclair-owned stations to deliver a scripted promotional message on-air," he said. "This most recent incident continues the troubling history of Sinclair dictating content to its stations, including mandating they run Sinclair-produced segments.
"This practice not only compromises the ability of local reporters to serve the unique interests of their viewers, but it undercuts the journalistic integrity of local news anchors who are required to deliver corporate-scripted messages, at times without providing a disclaimer of their source."
Details of Durbin's letter were first reported by The Hill.
The letter, addressed to Sinclair Executive Chairman David Smith, also asked for additional details about the scripted comments.
"Further, please clarify whether there will be employment consequences for personnel at local stations who refuse to deliver the scripted promotional message," Durbin wrote.
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