Paid News

  1. Paid News can be defined as “Any news or analysis appearing in any media (print and electronic) for a price in cash or kind as a consideration”.
  2. The election time paid news phenomenon has three dimensions:
    1. The reader or the viewer does not get a correct picture of the personality or performance of the candidate in whose favor or against he decides to cast his vote. This destroys the very essence of democracy.
    2. Contesting candidates perhaps do not show it in the election’s expenses account thereby violating The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, framed by the Election Commission of India under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
    3. Those newspapers which received the money in cash but did not disclose it in their official statements of accounts have violated the Companies Act, 1956 as well as the Income Tax Act, 1961 besides other laws.
  3. The Election Commission of India vide letter no. 491/Paid News/2019 dated 04.06.2019 has shared the actions to be taken in the established/confirmed cases of paid news as follows:
    1. Name of the candidate (and not the media house) shall be published on CEOs website in appropriate manner.
    2. Name of the print and electronic media, with all the details of the paid news items shall be forwarded to Press Council of India (PCI) and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) by the Commission (and not by the O/o CEO) after obtaining it from the CEOs concerned.

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