The Press Council of India (PCI) received 600 complaints of ‘paid news’ against different newspapers, which were forwarded to it by the Election Commission and others, during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. This information was given in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore in written reply to a member’s question.
The complaints were decided by the PCI. In his reply, the minister said that as far as electronic media is concerned, no specific instance of ‘paid news’ has come to the notice of his ministry.
According to the details provided by Rathore, there were around 261 complaints in Rajasthan, 125 in Punjab, 86 in Uttar Pradesh and 66 in Gujarat during the 2014 General Election. In 17 states and Union Territories, no case was confirmed as ‘paid news’, as per the data.