Paid news or paid content are those articles in newspapers, magazines and the electronic media which indicate favourable conditions for the institutions that has paid for it. The news is like an advertisement but without ad tag.
Issues with paid news:
- Serious malpractice as it deceive citizens.
- Payment mode violate tax laws and election spending laws.
- Election concerns as it amount to undue influence on voters.
- self-regulatory industry bodies like the News Broadcasting Standards Authority and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council are an ‘eye wash’ in the name of prevention of paid news.
- the punitive powers of statutory regulators like the PCI and Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) to be inadequate.
- Lack of clarity on definition of paid news.
- Erosion of trust of public on Media and constitutional body like election commission
- Against the character of free and fair elections.