BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) — Several local television stations in the U.S. this week aired a video produced by Amazon that promotes amazon’s efforts to protect warehouse employees from the new virus, according tomedia reports. According to a press release from Amazon, the video includes pre-recorded clips at the logistics center, interviews with employees, and scripts written for the anchor to read aloud.
Amazon claims the video allows outsiders to “see first-hand” how the company “ensures the health and safety of its employees while ensuring the logistics of packages.”
The video shows a very different story from what Amazon warehouse employees described during the new coronavirus outbreak. Tensions between Amazon and warehouse employees across the country have been rising since March as the number of new coronavirus-positive cases and deaths has continued to rise. Amazon has previously said it has done “everything we can” to keep its employees safe, but employees still believe the company is not doing enough.
It is not clear how many television stations broadcast the propaganda video. At least two television stations promoted the video on Twitter, and other TV reporters on Twitter said Amazon offered them the video.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Amazon on Twitter, calling the video “political propaganda” and calling on Amazon to offer sick leave benefits to warehouse employees.
An Amazon spokesman defended the videos as an attempt to provide a clearer picture of the working environment in the warehouse.
Video clips produced by the company are also known as video news releases. This is not new, nor is it amazon-specific. Companies, public relations firms and advertising agencies provide this type of video news release to the media, and such clips can be used in the reporting process. However, the practice is being criticised because viewers may not know that the footage came from the company. In Amazon’s video, for example, some local TV anchors praised the video maker, but did not disclose that he was working for Amazon.
An Amazon spokesman said the company had made it clear that the content came from the company. Moreover, videos are not political propaganda material, and none of the people involved in video production are paid.