June 24, 2005

Ethics of selling space

I'm going to be moderating this panel discussion tomorrow. As always, be there or be elsewhere.


Theme: The ethics (or the lack of it) of selling editorial space

Description: In 2003, the Times of India, one of India’s leading newspapers, decided to market editorial space in it and other newspapers the group publishes by setting up an cell called Medianet. As a result, corporates and individuals could pay money and feature in news columns or other editorial space.

Two years later we discover that not only is the trend alive, but it is thriving. The trend has been followed by other papers, too — though not as blatantly as the "leader who guards the reader."

So is this trend ethical, will (or should) other newspapers follow suit and is this the end of the ‘news is sacred’ concept?

Participants: Kalpana Sharma, Meher Pestonji, Meena Menon, Farzana Versey, Amrita Shah, Dilip D’Souza (moderator)

Participants’ Profiles:
Kalpana Sharma is Chief of Bureau, Mumbai, and Deputy Editor, The Hindu; author of Rediscovering Dharavi (Penguin), and the co-author of The Media and Women's Issues.

Meher Pestonji is a senior journalist and author of the novel Pervez, published by Penguin.

Meena Menon is a Special Correspondent with The Hindu, Mumbai, and specialises in development issues.

Farzana Versey is a columnist and writer based in Mumbai.

Amrita Shah is a senior journalist and a columnist with the Indian Express.

Venue: Wilson College, Chowpatty, Mumbai

Time and Date: 11 am, Saturday June 25 2005


Anonymous said...

Perspective: use it or lose it. When Rupert Murdoch buys newspapers and flagrantly espouses his views .. does it matter that he hasnt sold editorial space to a cola company? I would submit "ideology placement", analogous to product placement(rapidly catching on in several areas, but most insidiously in print) is far more dangerous than overt advertising. Don't you think "blatantly" read overtly is better than discreetly read covertly? The economics of the marketplace dictates selling of every available inch, whether in the editorial pages or not. What is important is whether ethics of the workplace can withstand the temptation. I would think an examination of Cho Ramaswamy's steadfast determination to refuse all advertising to maintain a spotless reputation of intellectual independence would be interesting.

Anonymous said...


Some thinking on identical lines ............

Anonymous said...

Oh, Dilip, the head spins at a tremendous centrifugal speed. The ethics of selling editorial space?? The joys of breathing air without oxygen? The pleasures of reading a book without words?

Please, for the sake of truth, righteousness and the readers of "death ends fun", please wear your shiniest, coldest brass knuckles for this discussion and hide away all first-aid kits that may be available at the venue.

I hope you will post the highlights of the discussion on the blog?



Anonymous said...

hey ya.
sorry for the last minute announcement . but we almost missed letting ya know about the bloggers meet happening tomm.
more details on http://mbm.rediffblogs.com
it would be great if you could make it :) see ya.

Sunil said...

ok....waiting for the post on this one....too interesting to be ignored.

And, yeah! The kind of success Cho has had with Tuqlaq without any advertising is worth plenty of case studies.

Anonymous said...

Any progress on this? Please post the minutes of the discussion