When local politician Mauvin Godinho’s birthday was celebrated with reams of newsprint advocating all the “good work” he has been doing in Goa, something stank.
There were grumbles about this blatant advertising – the public are not complete idiots. The grumbles, of course, were soon relegated to half-hearted discussions on Facebook (general consensus being “this happens the world over – why are you making such a big fuss?”) and to online journalistic forums.
Following Godinho’s newspaper-birthday bash, I wrote a ‘letter to the editor’ to all the English dailies in Goa, complaining about this disgusting practice. Not surprisingly, not a single newspaper carried the letter.
One local journalist did not let this die down, though. He conducted his own investigation and has made an official complaint to the Press Council of India. The editor of the Herald has responded to those allegations as well. You can read about it here.
Will the local press hang their head in shame and say “No, thanks” to politicians buying space in the papers? Not a chance. I remember a senior journalist (formerly at the Herald) saying that the paper would publish anything except negative comments about the Tiatr industry because it was such a huge source of revenue. With politicians willing to put in so much more, where do we draw the line between reportage and fiction?
Is there no one we (the public) can trust anymore to tell the truth?
Follow the ‘Paid News in Goa’ story here.