screenshot from four local news broadcasters reading the amazon script

Amazon Local News Script

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Updated May 27, 2020 at 01:50PM EDT by Matt.

Added May 27, 2020 at 01:07PM EDT by Matt.

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Amazon Local News Script refers to a viral video featuring clips of 11 separate local news broadcasts reading the same script about Amazon's response to the coronavirus and workplace safety. The script and segment footage were reportedly written and produced by Amazon's public relations team.


On May 26th, 2020, Courier Newsroom published the video on YouTube. In the video description, they wrote, "Amazon is taking proactive action ahead of Wednesday's annual shareholders meeting--at which investors plan on demanding the company address worker safety issues after at least eight warehouse employees have died of Covid-19--by pushing a propaganda package to local news outlets that promote the corporation's health and safety efforts." The post received more than 360,000 views and 8,600 likes in less than one week (shown below).


Prior to the release of the video, KOCO 5 morning anchor tweeted, [1] "Just got an email from Amazon's PR team with a pre-edited news story and script to run in our shows. They are selling this as giving our viewers an "inside look" at the company's response to COVID-19. No. Let us go inside a fulfillment center with our own cameras…" They also included the script and shot list for the segment. Within one week, the tweet received more than 7,100 likes and 2,800 retweets in less than two days (shown below).

Zach Rael @KOCozach Just got an email from Amazon's PR team with a pre- edited news story and script to run in our shows. They are selling this as giving our viewers an "inside look" at the company's response to COVID-19. No. Let us go inside a fulfillment centers with our own cameras... Script for review and shot list: ***ANCHOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS INTRO*** STAYING AT HOME ARE RELYING ON AMAZON TO DELIVER ESSENTIALS LIKE GROCERIES AND CLEANING PRODUCTS DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. FOR THE FIRST TIME WE'RE GETTING A GLIMPSE *INSIDE* AMAZON'S FULFILLMENT CENTERS TO SEE JUST HOW THE COMPANY IS KEEPING ITS EMPLOYEES SAFE AND HEALTHY.. WHILE STILL DELIVERING PACKAGES TO YOUR DOORSTEP. TODD WALKER TAKES US INSIDE. 2"ΤΑKE PKG* Exterior of BF14 - WITH HUNDREDS OF BUILDINGS.. Wide of building, AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS tight on logo, OF EMPLOYEES.. AMAZON HAS associates walking TRANSFORMED ITS OPERATIONS inside IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES AND KEEP 9:11 AM · May 24, 2020 · Twitter for iPhone


In conjunction with the release of the video, Courier Newsroom posted the script and stations that aired the segment. They wrote:

WKRN-ABC, Nashville, TN
WLEX-NBC, Lexington, KY (ran twice)
WVVA-NBC, Bluefield, WV
WTVM-ABC, Columbus, GA (ran twice)
KMIR-NBC, Palm Springs, CA (ran three times)
WBTW-CBS, Myrtle Beach, SC
WOAY-ABC, Bluefield, WV (ran twice)

When Courier reached out to the Bluefield, West Virginia NBC affiliate, WVVA, news director Wes Armstead said, "I was not aware the package was provided by Amazon. We'll make sure it doesn't happen again."

Vice [3] also published a report on the segment. They report that "Each anchor introduces the script then throws to an Amazon-produced look "inside" an Amazon fulfillment center, which is narrated by Amazon spokesperson Todd Walker."

Each station introduced Walker as though he were one of their own reporters. He is, in fact, a "PR manager" at Amazon, according to his LinkedIn page. Walker used to be a broadcast journalist, according to his personal website and a sizzle reel he produced for his site.

Days before the segment aired, Amazon sent the video footage with Walker's narration in a press release.[4]

An Amazon spokesperson told Vice:

We welcome reporters into our buildings and it's misleading to suggest otherwise. This type of video was created to share an inside look into the health and safety measures we've rolled out in our buildings and was intended for reporters who for a variety of reasons weren't able to come tour one of our sites themselves.

That day, Redditor [2] wongmjane shared the video in the /r/videos subreddit. The post received more than 55,000 points (92% upvoted) and 2,800 comments in less than two days.

The Facebook group PeopleForBernie also shared the Vice report. The post received more than 3,800 reactions, 1,900 shares and 240 comments in less than 24 hours (shown below).

The People For Bernie Sanders ... Bernie 20 hrs · O At least 11 TV stations aired an identical segment that portrayed itself as news, but was actually written & produced by Amazon's PR team. The segments even introduce a person as a reporter for the TV station; in fact, it's Todd Walker, an Amazon PR. amazon KEEPING EMPLOYEES SAFE VICE.COM Local News Stations Run Propaganda Segment Scripted and Produced by Amazon D 3.8K 245 Comments 1.9K Shares

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in reply to poochyena

I think it's firmly because it's from a purely corporate entity like Amazon as opposed to a trusted new organization like the Associated Press that has people feeling icky about it. And whether it's new or not, it's generally not this blatant about it.


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