Not even in my wildest of dreams did I think that somebody could be picking up the tab to decide what I get in the garb of daily news that I ritually cherish with my morning tea. I am deeply shocked by the abhorrent politics-media nexus. In a democracy, the media has the responsibility to report news honestly. This responsibility assumes a moral character given the faith people have in the fourth estate. Newspapers play a crucial role in moulding the opinion of the middle class and shaping its response. We feel betrayed by the media that is supposed to play an important role in nation-building. Thankfully, not all newspapers are given to such practices. The Hindu has upheld the true spirit of journalism over 134 years.
The evil of paid news dressed up as news has been prevailing for long across the country, but it remained unnoticed and unchecked. But, of late, the media has become the most powerful means to reach a large number of voters. “Paid news ads” point to the unholy nexus between political parties and the media. That the Election Commission of India and the Press Council of India are seized of the matter is heartening. Besides censure and disqualification, a hefty fine should be levied on those who misuse the media.