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 Up loaded on Wednesday August 18, 2010

       Paid news: Press Council's sham report to hide

 Indian media's shame.

Published on GovernanceNow.com


          Media watchdog suppresses damning report on how media is selling its soul

                  In this country, everything can go to a rot and still we can rest assured that we have a free and fair media that will highlight the rot. But who's going to tell us if something is rotten in the media? The Press Council of India was apparently set up precisely for this purpose. But now the accusing fingers are being pointed at the very watchdog itself. At the centre of the controversy is the phenomenon of "paid news".

            There was much brouhaha after the 2009 elections that several politicians had “bought” news space, that is to say, had paid media barons for publicity, which unfortunately was dished out as regular news, without informing the reader that this was a sort of advertisement.

          The matter strikes at the heart of democracy twice over, as elections AND journalism are involved. As veterans like Prabhash Joshi (who passed away late last year) and P Sainath campaigned for action against the guilty, the Press Council of India early this year set up a committee of two journalists, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and K Sreenivasa Reddy, to investigate the matter.

            Based on their painstaking research, they produced a 72-page report that not only called a spade a spade and named the names but also traced the genesis of commercialism across the media that otherwise claims a holy cow status for itself. They submitted their report way back in April.

           God knows what was happening for the past three months, but now the Press Council has come up with its own report on paid news. It has only 12 pages, it has no names and it reduces the Thakurta-Reddy report to merely a footnote – and the 72-page report has not been uploaded on the PCI website either. The PCI has members from the managements of media houses on its board which perhaps explains its unwillingness to name names.

But here it is: the full report, sourced from prabashjoshi.net, Draw your own conclusions.

Press-Council-Report .

Please read our earlier stories related to" Paid News" .

1).Paid News: A Cancer in  Indian Media.

2). Paid news: Press Council's sham report to hide Indian media's shame.

3).Paid news undermining democracy: Press Council report

4).Declare paid news an electoral malpractice, demands  political parties.

5).‘Paid News’ issue raised in Rajya Sabha under Calling Attention Motion.

6)."Paid news" culture is only a symptom of a deeper disease says, Prasar Bharati chairperson Mrinal Pandey.

7).Editors Guild condemns paid news practice.

8).Has paid news turned media into a 'lap dog'?

9).India's "Paid News" Scandal Blotted Out by Press Lords.

10).Private Treaties harm fair, unbiased news: SEBI.



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