If you happened to see any of the local newspapers today, you would have been amazed at all the wonderful things Mauvin Godinho has been doing for the state. You may have even wondered at the sudden flurry of news reports in your favourite paper extolling his virtues. By the reams of newsprint dedicated to Mr. Godinho’s photos today, you knew that it was his birthday, of course. Newspaper adverts and birthday wishes from everybody (and that means everybody from hoteliers, to the neigbours, to the LPG distributors) is an unfortunate, but common occurrence in Goa. Today’s “advertorial” however, was the icing on the cake.
Look at the picture above. Did you think it was an advert? I didn’t at first. I thought that the Herald had actually put this fantastic report card together themselves (they may have, who knows). When the Navhind Times and Times of India also had the same wonderful news, it was too much to take. The Herald had ‘advertorial’ on the header and the NT and TOI had miniscule ‘ADVT’ at the bottom of the page. Most people I checked with had not noticed either disclaimer.
It goes to show how seriously we read the paper. Or how gullible we are that we don’t register every little detail until it is pointed out to us.
Conservative estimates in journalistic circles peg the expenses at about 12 lakhs for these advertorials. Whose money is this?
I sent a Letter to the editors of the three papers that we get at home : Herald, NT and TOI Goa. I do know that the Marathi papers and GT also had these pages in today, but I haven’t seen them myself.
Will this letter be published? Wait and see.
I was disgusted by the "advertorials" disguised as news items praising Mauvin Godinho in the today’s editions of the local press, including your paper.
Pages of birthday wishes are bad enough but the full page ‘adverts’ praising the birthday boy were totally misleading, inappropriate and scandalous. If advertisements are now going to look like news reports, are readers going to have to check the fine print at the bottom each time, to tell them apart?
It is a shame that our press has lost the integrity to say no to such ‘features’. Was the lure of easy money too much for editorial interference? Did Mr. Godinho make you and your fellow editors an offer you couldn’t refuse? Surely the information could have been designed and presented in such a way to leave no doubt in the minds of the reader that this was not being reported by the paper but in fact being paid for by someone else?
I suggest that your paper publish a birthday list for politicians, so we can skip buying the paper on those days. Shame on you and shame on Mr. Godinho for allowing this to happen.