'Paid news' a serous concern: Ambika Soni

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New Delhi, March 5 (ANI): Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Friday described the 'paid news' as a serious matter and, said right of the public to receive correct and balanced information needs to be ensured.

In response to a 'Calling Attention Notice' on the issue, Soni said in the Rajya Sabha today, " There exists strong circumstantial evidence of the malpractices," and added that the phenomenon of 'paid news' is a serious matter as it influences functioning of a free press.

"When paid information is presented as news content, it could mislead the public and thereby hamper their judgement to form a correct opinion. Thus, there is no denying the fact that there is an urgent need to protect public's right to correct and unbiased information," she added.oni claimed the issue has wide ranging implications on the democratic structure and, it was important for all sections of society to look into the matter seriously.

The Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) has named six newspapers carrying numerous 'paid news' stories, she said in response to the notice given by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury.oncerned over the issue, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said there should be a check on these malpractices and a regulator should be employed in the field to impose 'deterrent' penalties.

Jaitley sought to know from the Central Government whether they would take appropriate steps to root out the problem. (ANI)

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