Several cases of paid news during assembly polls: Soni

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has said that the recent Assembly elections in five states had thrown up several cases of paid news.

She said: “Special observers were appointed (by the Election Commission) to check the menace of paid news in the recent Assembly elections as well as in the elections in Tamil Nadu earlier. Some pink papers (business newspapers) have also been reported to have indulged in paid news.”

Speaking on the sidelines of an event here, she drew attention to the large number of players in the electronic and print media, and its impact on news coverage.

She regretted that the malaise of paid news which has grown especially since 2009, was not limited just to election time.

"(Paid news) is something which weakens the freedom of the media, and all who argue for it," Soni added.

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