News That Matters

What are the rules for news footage in political advertisements?


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It is campaign season and political ads are all over television stations including at KRQE News 13. Sometimes, candidates or PACs use TV news reports that feature anchors, reporters, and newspaper and web headlines. However, that does not mean that the station or publication is endorsing that candidate.

KRQE political analyst Gabe Sanchez says in every election it is common for candidates and PACs on both sides of the aisle to use newspaper headlines or snippets of newscasts in an ad to try and prove their point. “What candidates are looking for is to give some credibility to the context of whatever their commercial, TV ad is projecting,” said Sanchez.

Under election law, a section called “Fair Use” allows candidates or PACs to use journalistic content without the outlet’s consent. “They’re allowed to be able to take factual statements, for example, inflation is out of control or gas prices are at an all-time high, as long as those are factual statements made by a TV anchor, they’re free to be able to do so,” said Sanchez.

However, that does not mean the journalist or the outlet is endorsing that candidate. “I think it can often be confusing to voters because they see a TV anchor a newspaper reporter, etc. and they might generally assume that’s an endorsement for the candidate,” said Sanchez. It is KRQE News 13 policy to not endorse any candidate running for office.

With nearly two months until Election Day, Sanchez says the political ads are only going to increase. “You should anticipate more activity, good, bad or ugly, viewers out there,” said Sanchez.



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