Sandeep Joshi

“This aberration should have been exposed long back”

NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan on Thursday urged media houses to bring to an end the business of paid news which was hurting the credibility of Indian media.

“The business of paid news should come to an end immediately… media barons should shun this practice,” Mr. Bardhan said at the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Press Trust of India here.

Though he lauded the role of some media organisations and the Editors Guild of India for bringing the issue to the fore and issuing directions in this connection, Mr. Bardhan said this aberration should have been exposed long back and strong action initiated against it.

“Converting advertisements into news and making journalists a commodity are not good signs for our democracy and must be stopped urgently. Media houses cannot circumvent their responsibility and have to tackle this problem,” he said.

Mr. Bardhan also criticised the India media, particularly electronic news channels, for promoting the “business of sensationalising” news.

“These days we see media, particularly electronic news channels, engaged in the battle of one-upmanship by sensationalising news, which is increasing negativity in the society. The media should also focus on news related to development and progress. Positive things happening in society should also to be highlighted,” he said.

Referring to the dominance of the United States in the world media, Mr. Bardhan said that the U.K. earlier played a pivotal role in shaping policies and giving directions to global media, a role now taken over by powerful media barons of the West.

“All this is leading to greater disparity and more aggression in the world, which is a dangerous trend which needs to be stopped urgently to make a just global order,” Mr. Bardhan added.