WTF… Mainstream Newspapers takes cash to write articles – Corruption in Journalism !


I am not so naive to think that media “doodh se dhooli hui hai” (i.e: is completely clean). But I did not expect that corruption is so rampant in Mainstream Media that even big name news papers & journalist are taking cash to feature articles !

Honestly, as of now not much details have been published, however, according to the investigation carried out for Press Council of India by AFP shows that corruption is quite rampant.


Here is a verbatim transcript from this particular news piece released by AFP

The detailed 70-page study, prepared by two senior investigative journalists for the Council, lists testimony from leading journalists and politicians, as well as examples of suspect reports.

In its worst form, "paid news" sees newspapers present a rate card to political candidates who must pay a set amount for coverage for themselves or critical coverage of their opponents.

Former civil aviation minister Harmohan Dhawan is quoted describing his experience in 2009 of contesting a seat in the state of Punjab when he had calls from the Hindi-language Dainik Jagran and the Punjab Kesri newspapers.

"A representative of Dainik Jagran came to me 20 days before the election and clearly told me: ‘If you want coverage in this election, you have to buy a package’," he said.

He turned down the offers. Various politicians quoted in the report said they had been offered packages by newspapers ranging from 1,000 dollars to 20,000 dollars.

In southern Andhra Pradesh state, journalist unions have estimated the size of the illicit market at 70-220 million dollars.

I am waiting for the full report to get published –What is startling is the fact that it is not 1 or 2 journalist as individuals who are doing this, but it it with knowledge of entire publication.

This is serious and really damning for general public who rely on their daily newspapers to provide them with neutral information !

  1. Ankit Singh says

    Hi Arun sir,

    What can you say when major news channel & papers are owned by politicians like ShivSena, NCP & other parties and indirectly funded. So, what you want to say on this?

    Now a days news are biased. If you read different newspaper you will find the same news but with diffirent meaning like one with congress & another one criticizing & it like that.

    So, Media & politics are now very closely related. You can’t help.

  2. Arun Prabhudesai says

    Nice to see you around after a big gap :)…yeah…most of the online bloggers take care to show that it is sponsored post / ad …but with this kind of revelation really is disappointing….rate card for paid news…WTF…

    That means it is not one off incident…it is rampant and this what is really worrying !

    1. Madhav Shivpuri says

      Hi Arun,

      Yes, it is funny that bloggers who earn pennies (hopefully!) from sponsored ads have a marked off section for sponsored content but newspapers accepting lakhs do not!

      May be Mudroch needs to discover the potential for profits in the Indian newspaper industry and in return open-up free access to WSJ!

  3. Madhav Shivpuri says

    Hi Arun,

    When I read a newspaper, I want the ‘facts’ in the paper. Views of the publisher or reviewers should be in the editorial or other sections where people expect opinions or reviews and not in the mainstream news pages.

    I agree with you that this practise is disappointing though not surprising. Like on the internet we have a tag called ‘Sponsored ads’ where say Google Adsense or other banners are shown, so also should newspaper should disclose their sponsorships. Easier said than done I am sure.

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