When news is paid!  

Posted by Praveen in ,

Imagine the scenario when the news you read are nothing but advertisements masquerading as news. What if they are paid for by people with vested interests and twisted in the way they like and printed without the mandatory 'advt' tag at the bottom? That is exactly what happened during the Maharashtra elections. Through an investigative article in the hindu, P.Sainath has pointed to this new menace. It all happened during the recently concluded Maharashtra elections when an article praising congress leader Ashok Chavan appeared in many of the regional newspapers. The story was published with the credits attributed to a 'special correspondent'. And proving his case that it indeed is paid journalism at its worst, Sainath points out that you can't have the same special correspondent writing for all these papers. More than blaming the politicians or parties, here the blame rests solely with the concerned media houses for such an act which goes against the basic tenets of journalism.

After incidents like this, how much can one trust the newspaper that you read. Barring a few of them like 'The Hindu', rest are all owned by business houses with an eye on profit. To be precise, just on profit. As fake stories become the order of the day, we will find it hard to separate the real news from the advertisement campaigns. Tomorrow, if I want, I can have a nice article written on me provided I've enough money. Newspapers are slowly becoming propaganda machines for those with fat pockets. Its almost as scary as the thought police that we all read in George Orwell's '1984'.

your crusader Praveen

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 04, 2009 at Friday, December 04, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

10 comments

You're right on. I'm starting to think that Orwell's 1984 was a blueprint rather than just a cautionary tale...

It's so hard to discern reality from fiction these days but at least we can be thankful that there are still some ethical reporters out there.

Keep up the good work my friend!

3:55 AM

Hey like it or not 'Media Syndicate' is a reality in INdia. They pound propaganda into our heads and get paid by both the reader and the people behind...

Some thing I have noticed in the newspapers today is the shift to cater the needs of upper middle class...

Take for instance "TOI"... Major part of the space is dedicated to bollywood, how to spice up your sex life, mindless surveys, Some anti- china news, scandals... No space for the poor

6:33 AM

Yes Praveen...i saw it on TV and was disgusted to say the least...hope this practice is stopped ASAP...

4:56 PM

This is one of the most worrying aspects of our modern day democracy. The fact of the matter is that this menace, which originated in the West has now managed to seep into our culture. If you remember an incident in Chicago where a Senator had to step down because he personally requested more editorial support from one of the major Illinois newspapers. This is now turning into a daily affair in our country.

I read about the incident in Maharashtra in another blog I follow and wasn't too surprised. Obviously newspapers have their own preferences and agenda, we all know what we are reading in Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Kaumudi and co but they've not degraded to such low levels. We're developing sore throat shouting about the loss of ethics and value from the once reverent 4th estate. Now its a bad bad joke, and with this Maharashtra stink tale out it has left a very bad taste in the mouth.

Wonder if the Press Council of India and the Govt is seeing all this...Even if they are, what do they plan to do? We are all taken for a maerry-go-round ride and it wont go far if this goes on, I'm telling you.

5:35 PM

I agree wtih u... I come from this industry so i can completely understand what you are tlaking about.

there is the concept of 'advertorial' where they combine advertising with editorial and thus becomes paid content. they are monetising their articles/news for it. thus the supplement of the TOI is most often completely paid for. what happens is that, journalism gets lost in the process and the paper loses its credibiility. but it continues to take in the moolah so nobody really complains. scary, isnt it?

11:47 AM

Hi

My best friend is in this journalism field. I think he will send me latest news.

Thanks.

Communication Program

3:40 PM

@ above i dont think story in USA is any different...
I was reading 'Dude where is my country'....
The difference is the bribery in USA follows more processes and is whitewashed in the name of donation, charity, campaign...etc.

10:47 PM

Our mainstream media has gone down the drain. There is no saving them anymore. All of them bar none are interested only in the economic aspect. The fourth pillar of a successful democracy indeed!

9:01 AM

@daria
yea, its a blue print..many of the things in that novel has already happened..and many more waiting to happen anytime soon..

@Jon
media syndicate ofcourse is a reality, but not in a way idiots like Pinarayi speak about..In a way, even men like him are making use of this syndicate...
btw, agree with u on the catering to upper class part..news is getting richer:D

@ramanathan
yea!hope so

@scorpiogenius
yes, it has its origins in the west..but this is even worse than we ever thought about..and in the list u mentioned, am not so sure about manorama :)

@aswathy
oh!!!they even coined a word for this practise...shame!! never thought even these editorials are paid for :(

@rockus
but i still have still some hope left in publications like hindu and tehelka

12:04 AM

newspapers like everything in India, are up for sale or susceptible to coercion. Remember the emergency, when all newspapers except Indian Express were singing paeans in honor of Sanjay Gandhi? Our 'illustrious' Khushwant Singh was party to that too.

5:52 PM

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