Growing pressure by advertising departments and diminution of subscriptions as a source of revenue has led to devaluation of information and a shift in news content to celebrity and lifestyle coverage in Indian media, a report said on Tuesday.

The media industry in India faces “serious” dilemmas in seeking to reconcile its revenue model — which is highly dependent on advertising — with the compulsions of quality news gathering in an increasingly competitive environment, the Press Freedom Report for South Asia 2010-11, prepared by the International Federation of Journalists said.

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Transparency was in many ways a primary question that the media industry faced through the year, the report said.

“Sharply observant media practitioners went public with their belief that beginning with four state Assembly elections in 2008 and particularly with General elections to Parliament in 2009, there was an increasing tendency for news content to be paid for directly.

“It was understood in some circles as the next logical step in the triumph of advertising over legitimate news gathering and dissemination,” it said.

The report made a mention about the Radia tapes, which involved tapped telephonic conversations between an industry lobbyist and a number of influential media professionals.

Though privacy issues were undoubtedly involved, Radia’s conversations revealed much that was of public interest too, the report said.

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