It speaks for the level of distrust that the media has managed to earn for itself that the front page of the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar carries an emblem in Hindi (right) alongside the masthead, in the space usually reserved for ear-panel advertisements, proclaiming “No Paid News”.
Two years ago, the Bombay newspaper DNA, in which the Dainik Bhaskar group held a stake (which it later divested in favour of Subhash Chandra‘s Zee) too carried a similar logo.
When The Hindu started printing an edition from Mohali in 2011, its then editor-in-chief N. Ram made a front-page declaration that it would not serve up news that somebody else has paid for”.
Dainik Bhaskar‘s “No Paid News” emblem, however, does not appear in Divya Bhaskar, the Gujarati paper owned by the group.
The paper was in the news last Sunday when it carried a front-page, eight-column flyer-interview by Dhimant Purohit on Sunday, quoting the State’s chief minister Narendra Modi as saying that India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had not attended the funeral of home minister Vallabhbhai Patel.
Dainik Bhaskar too carried the Divya Bhaskar story as a page-one, eight-column flyer, but two days later, Divya Bhaskar later printed a front-page “clarification”
Soon after the clarification, Modi tweeted, “Divya Bhaskar has clarified on a statement about Sardar Patel’s funeral wrongly attributed to me. I thank them for it.”
In a simple but smart use of archival material, The Economic Times ran a graphic, containing the front-page of The Times of India, which called Modi’s (and Divya Bhaskar‘s) bluff.
Images: courtesy Divya Bhaskar, Dainik Bhaskar, The Economic Times
Also read: Good morning, your paper is free of paid news
A paper without paid news for North Indians
‘Media’s Modi-fixation needs medical attention’
How Narendra Modi buys media through PR
‘Modi‘s backers and media owners have converged’
‘Network18′s multimedia Modi feast, a promo’
I don’t think there are any free lunches; opinion makers, print media, tv channels everyone gets paid.
>>which called Modi’s (and Divya Bhaskar‘s) bluff.
Smart work, San Serif !! You deserve a Padma for this.
The fact is Modi didn’t say anything about the funeral. It was Divya Bhaskar’s claim that Modi said it. And you say as if Modi said it. You journalists will never accept a fellow journalists’ mistake.
Dainik Bhaskar and Divya Bhaskar are run by two different groups in the Agrawal Family. Two different editions may not necessarily be handled by the same group. So there may be a difference in policy or use of the logo as a marketing tactic.