The reliance of journalists on sources such as PR personnel and government officials is referred to as source journalism, as apposed to independent investigative journalism.
Even trusted public organizations like Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has so much oil company money sponsoring its programs that it was nicknamed the Petroleum Broadcasting Service.
FAIR’s www.fair.org study on PBS programming found they used mainly corporate conservative sources and rarely used public interest groups such as environmentalists in their reporting. PBS
The same trend was reported by FAIR on National Public Radio’s (NPR) Morning Edition segment which often looks to a trusted roster of think-tank sources when seeking “expert” opinions. NPR
In the study FAIR found that sources from left-of-center think tanks were underrepresented, while right leaning think tank sources were appearing almost twice as often. “The contrast between Morning Edition’s use of clearly conservative and clearly progressive think tanks was stark: Analysts from the former appeared more than three times as often as interviewees from the latter.”