Media is losing the battle of credibility every day and the erosion is seen maximum in Hindustan Times, which was once the country’s leading newspaper. The devaluation of its brand is reflected in its policies and criteria for publishing news articles. There are no checks and balances before publishing an article.
There is a section in its website ‘Brand-Post’ which publishes paid articles and promotional content. But this platform is being used for the denigration of established brands by a third party without any proof and evidence. If you want to abuse anyone publicly or level serious unscrupulous allegations on any reputed personality be it the prime minister of a country or the managing director of a business group, you can easily put across your views in this section without getting vetted.
The misuse of media’s power is blatantly visible on this website indicating the widespread practice of yellow journalism by a newspaper that had been the voice of the public even during the pre-independence era.
The legacy of the great KK Birla looks faint now. Recently, the website of this newspaper hindustantimes.com published a press release demolishing the credentials of a leading educational institution, NAEMD, without verifying the content provided by a third party. This paid content carries the byline of Hindustan Times while carrying a disclaimer that “This is a company press release. No HT journalist was involved in the creation of this content.”
There is no mention of the company’s name that has issued this release. Doesn’t it cloud the credibility of a media group that is intentionally or unintentionally playing with the brand image of a company at the behest of an anonymous company?
Here the role of hindustantimes.com is like a “supari killer” who doesn’t know who has given money to kill the reputation of an established brand. If such kind of supari journalism is promoted or protected by groups like Hindustan Times, which are listed companies having investment from the public, then only God can help the fourth pillar of democracy.
Looking at the way the news item has been published based on the content provided by an anonymous unreliable third party, it seems money changed hands. Hindustan Times may have received a few bucks at the cost of century-old credibility, but the people handling this website may have received much more without the knowledge of the management.
It pains to see media giants like Hindustan Times becoming ninepins of the media industry. It is a matter of great surprise that a visionary like Shobhana Bhartia has closed her eyes to the misdeed of her employees who are playing with the reputation of Hindustan Times for their petty gains. The brand name Hindustan Times has the pride of our nation and the centuries-old legacy of the illustrious Birla family.
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