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Is MSM in the business of News or Advertising

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Is MSM in the business of News or Advertising?

While many in the MSM will call themselves a News company, at least Times of India is honest about what it is – an advertising company[1]. Fully 40-50% of the landing page, the most important real estate in an online site, is devoted to advertising, especially of the cleavage variety.

The same set of clichéd phrases are recycled with a search and replace of the picture and the name of the scantily clad damsel. See how the same phrase turns up the heat gets repeated –

 

Figure 1. Times of India paid news

The sad reality is that in order to be profitable in the Media industry, one has to fill it with ads. Having been around for a while, Times Of India commands a premium owing to perhaps a reflex action of many of going to its website almost on a daily basis (so see who is turning up the heat)!

Clicking on the “turns up the heat” posts leads to a slide show of more display of skin in foreign locales. Is TOI stroking the fragile egos of stars and wannabe stars so that they feel that somewhere they are being looked at?

The trend in other media outlets is also the same – to post similar stories with titillating headlines intended to draw eyeballs and turn up the heat, of course!

It is said that Media is the fourth leg of Democracy… In India, it is a stretch to imagine that this is indeed true.

[1] Times of IndiaJan 9, 2018

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