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Editors guild deplores 'paid news menace'

December 23, 2009 15:48 IST
The Editors Guild of India is 'deeply shocked' and 'seriously concerned' at the increasing number of reports detailing the pernicious practice of publishing 'paid news' by some newspapers and television channels, especially during recent elections.

The guild, at its annual general meeting held on Tuesday, strongly condemned this practice which 'whittles the foundations of Indian journalism' and called upon all editors in the country to desist from publishing any form of advertisement which masquerade as news.

The Guild noted that it had always 'stood for publication of news which is in public interest; news which has been gathered due to the professional efforts of journalists; and news which is not influenced by malice, bias, favouritism or monetary influence.'

In a statement, the guild further 'deplores the practice of "private treaties" where news organisations accept free equity in unlisted companies in lieu of promoting these companies through news columns and television news programmes.'

"The news organisations should disclose their commercial and equity interests in such companies to the readers and viewers in a transparent manner," the statement noted.

"The guild calls upon publishers, editors and journalists of media organisations to unitedly fight this creeping menace of commercialisation and bartering of self respect of the media," the statement added.