https://countercurrents.org/2021/06/paid-news-and-paid-social-media-in-india-looking-for-legal-attention/

Unfortunately, numerous types of paid news have evolved over the period, posing a threat to the nation, but still exist in our political system due to a nexus between capitalism and political parties. Creation of public opinion in favour of a political parity pre and post election phases by the media in lieu of monetary agreement, promotion of particular ideology, future business prospects etc have become a common trend in our system. Undoubtedly, paid news is being used as a weapon to cover up the truth so as to divert the people’s attention from the core basic necessities and services if policies are not delivered effectively.

Nowadays, the systems of ‘paid news’ are becoming more ruthless and shaping as a form of corruption, unethical and professional misconduct in which media outlets and the political parties coordinate and complement each other in lieu of monetary agreement and political image building. The evolutions of such trend of paid news happen to be more threatening to our democracy as people’s voting behaviour are rigged in favour of the existing government, despite of the policy lacuna, policy-paralysis and mal-administration. Most of the India’s leading media are now being guided in accordance with commercial interest of the companies instead of seeking truth. Many incidences have been associated with ‘paid news’ for the last a couple of decades, for instances, publishing pre-poll survey showing victorious to a political party on account of financial agreement, providing ample coverage to a political party campaigning, framing and highlighting any weakness of a political party etc. For the last decade, the electronic media will become themselves as an eye witness of ‘paid news’ if the title of the news-show, its contents, lists of guest speakers, allotted time for specific program etc. are seriously examined. Though, it would be very difficult to prove whether the particular news shown on a channel or the news published in the newspaper is paid or not. Till now, no success has been achieved in tightening the noose on paid news.

By Dr. Ahmed Raza

27/06/2021

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