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NDTV broadcasts Telangana government’s paid propaganda as news, violates media ethics again

The same video published on its YouTube channel has a marking that reads "Telangana government initiative", which is only shown for a few seconds at the beginning of the 32-minute show

Far-left news outlet NDTV, often accused of being a mouthpiece of ‘secular’ political parties, was recently caught broadcasting Telangana Government propaganda as news.

On April 21, the controversial news outlet NDTV broadcast a show titled “Telangana A Phoenix Rises” on its platform to carry out propaganda in favour of the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana government.

In its show, the NDTV explained to its viewers how the KCR-led government turned India’s youngest state into a ‘top performer’ on the national stage. The 32-minute show claimed that the TRS government developed Telangana from being one of the country’s most deprived states to the best performer stat nationally.

“It is an account of how the futuristic vision and dynamic leadership of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao have proven that effective governance and empowering schemes are the only paths to progress,” claimed the show.

The NDTV ran the Telangana government’s paid advertorial as a news story without marking it as a paid advertorial. The same video published on its YouTube channel has a marking that reads “Telangana government initiative”, which is only shown for a few seconds at the beginning of the 32-minute show.

The NDTV portrays the TRS propaganda videos as factually accurate news without any scrutiny throughout the show. The NDTV, which often screams about speaking truth to power, seems to have compromised their so-called ethics to pursue its commercial interests.

However, in doing so, they have compromised media ethics, which some accuse NDTV of not possessing in the first place.

Senior Journalist Kanchan Gupta, who is currently an adviser to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, flagged the unethical behaviour of the far-left news outlet NDTV and noted that the broadcasting of propaganda videos of a state government was not only against the basic ethics of journalism but also violated the broadcast code.

He also accused NDTV of broadcasting Telangana Government propaganda as news and added that anybody could make out it is an advertorial which should have been clearly marked as paid advertising or sponsored content.

Although there are no specific guidelines for advertorials published by media in India, basic journalistic ethics say that paid content must be properly labelled, so that people don’t mistake them to be genuine news reports. As advertorials are just another form of advertisement, the guidelines for advertisement apply for them.

The Rule 7(10) of the Advertisement Code of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Rules, 1994 says that “all advertisement should be clearly distinguishable from the programme.”

According to the guideline on paid news by News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA), “Every news broadcasting organization shall disclose conspicuously in an appropriate manner during broadcast of a program, on their television channel/s and on their website/s, including during a news, current affairs, sports, entertainment or promotional broadcast as to whether the content of such broadcast has been paid for by or on behalf of the Entity that is subject matter of such broadcast in any manner whatsoever; and whether such broadcast is an “advertorial” or other media marketing initiative.” It must be noted that NDTV is a member of NBDA, which was earlier known as News Broadcasters Association (NBA). The guideline on paid news has been formulated by News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) under the NBDA.

As per the Norms of Journalistic Conduct published by the Press Council of India, “Journalistic propriety demands that advertisements must be clearly distinguishable from news content.” This guideline is for print media.

The running of paid propaganda as news is not new to Indian ‘secular-liberal’ media. The Hindu, another left-wing news publication, has been up to this for a long time, taking a step ahead to publish propaganda favouring India’s hostel entities.

As China wreaked havoc across the world with Wuhanvirus and its aggression along the LAC and several other issues, the liberal media outlet – The Hindu had chosen to further its commercial and ideological interests by promoting Communist China’s propaganda material.

While China faces global condemnation for its alleged Coronavirus experiments in the Wuhan Lab and subsequent misinformation propaganda regarding the origin and spread of the Pandemic, its aggression along the LAC and several other issues, ‘The Hindu’ has chosen to further its commercial and ideological interests by promoting Communist China’s propaganda material.

On July 1, the Hindu published a full-page advertorial paid for and planted by China on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of the Communist Party of China. The paid content appeared on the third page of the paper. Interestingly, the paid content by China that the Hindu has published appeared just like any other routine report for an untrained eye.

This was not the first time that the left-wing media outlet Hindu has provided a golden opportunity for the Communist Party of China to peddle its propaganda on Indian soil. Last year, a few months after the deadly clash between the Indian Army and Chinese troops at the Galwan valley leading to the death of 20 brave Indian soldiers, the Hindu had published a similar advertorial favouring China.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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