MAM

Frog Books publishes 'The Rape of News'

MUMBAI: Frog Books has published its second book, The Rape of News, compiled and edited by Sunil K Poolani, a Mumbai-based journalist.

The theme of the book is: 'Should papers sell editorial space?' The book is the outcome of The Times of India's announcement that it is marketing its editorial space in that paper and other publications the group publishes. As a result, corporates and individuals can pay money and feature in news columns or other editorial space. Is this ethical, the book asks. "Will - or should - other newspapers follow suit?

Those who have featured (29 writers) in the book comprise media critic Sevanti Ninan, veteran journalist PK Ravindranath, Mid-Day chief editor Aakar Patel, Newsweek senior editor Vibhuti Patel and columnist V Gangadhar.

Said Aakar Patel: "In the long term, this sale of news space is severely damaging to the credibility of news reporting and its delivery, and I do not think too many papers will wish to follow suit."

R Jagannathan, senior associate editor, Business Standard wrote: "If advertisers push promotional material in the garb of news, the reader has no way of knowing which is which, and soon he may start distrusting news of all kinds."

And a well-known media critic said: "Pushing advertising is deadly serious business. Maintaining editorial primacy is increasingly a losing proposition."

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