Ironically, the Sherpa of the press conference focused on ending corruption from the society in the light of Anna Hazare crusade. He even announced launching his own war against corruption and similar ailments afflicting the society. While launching jihad for ‘cash for vote’, little did this organisation matched its actions, trying by ‘news reports for cash’.
This is an ideal case of paid news, heavily opposed by the press bodies as well as Press Council of India (PCI). “It was a shock of my life and an insult to my journalist career,” said one journalist who participated in the press meet.
Press Council of India has mentioned that the phenomenon of “paid news” has gone beyond the corruption of individual journalists and media companies. It has become pervasive, structured and highly organized and in the process, is undermining democracy in India. Even many social groups present expansive gifts, cash and such items in the journalist kitty to seek favourable news, thereby undermining the quality of report and investigation.
Though, legally media was not a people’s representative under the People’s Representation Act, but ethically and in reality media was the people’s ambassador.