This is not journalism

Smaller than usual post but I just can't help it. If this mid-day article is to be believed, it's not that hard to be featured on the Bombay Times.

" … Mid Day has since found out that a front page photograph in Bombay Times is priced at Rs 1,254 per square cm. This means a 240 sq cm photograph on the front page in Mumbai costs Rs 3,00,960. The rate gets progressively lower with more insertions. The straight Q/A feature, also on the front page of the Bombay Times, is also up for sale. The 160-sq-cm article is on the lower part of the page and called the anchor in journalistic parlance. So if you want to be interviewed for that section, be ready to shell out Rs 1,91,520 … "

Read on and be surprised. This isn't journalism. What then is the difference between an advertisement and news? So what if it is all done transparently. You got to distinguish material on these publicity seekers with "regular" news.

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2 Responses

  1. This is really old news. I am surprised you didnt know of this earlier. TOI has long been passing of advertisements and paid content as news reports. They have a PR divison called MediaNet, which handles such advertising. You can find the site here.They even have samples of their past advertisements.

    Earlier, they used to have am ‘M’ mark next to paid content, to denote the difference, but have dropped it long ago.

    Some other links on this issue:
    http://www.rediff.com/money/2003/mar/05dalal.htm
    http://www.editorsweblog.org/print_newspapers/2004/05/edvertorial_as_new_perversion_of_journal.php
    http://readerlist.freeflux.net/blog/archive/2005/12/06/reader-list-the-press-distrust-of-india.html
    http://frogbooks.blogspot.com/2005/11/ethics-or-lack-of-it-of-selling.html
    http://o3.indiatimes.com/neel_blogs/archive/2005/09/12/249641.aspx

    IndianArchie
    Musings that Amuse

  2. Right IndianArchie. I wasn’t aware when I posted this with all the excitement after seeing that mid-day article. I figured this has been talked about before. And they still do it – not mark the paid “news” to separate them from regular content..

    Thanks for the links. Now that you mention, I recall that rediff article.

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