In India, we have this ridiculous tendency to paint most international news stories with a desi brush. From NASA space missions to Egyptian protests to insider trading cases; it’s horrendous to read stories that begin with the headline “NRI man,” “Indian-origin woman.” That’s a spin that doesn’t need highlighting the way it is.

A leading English newspaper sent a proposal to Kalmadi for positive coverage of the CWG in November 2009. The entire deal was worth Rs 12.19 crore. The media group wanted an “Official Newspaper” status for its flagship newspaper.

The proposal stated: “We do not solicit any financial assistance from CWG for the above activities apart from the regular advertising support for encouragement.”

The final report of the PCI is so watered down that if one compares it with the draft report, the extent of corruption in the media itself gets exposed.

The most notable difference between the two reports is that while the draft report listed specific instances of paid news with the names of media publications, the final report does not mention even a single name. This, at a time when the entire Indian media is going all-out against the corruption in the Commonwealth Games 2010.

The “paid news” phenomenon has left the parliamentarians of the country worried with senior MPs and even Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari expressing concern over the malpractice. Infact, a lot of politicians across party lines have suggested that exchanging money for “paid news” should be declared as a corrupt practice.

The report, Paid News: How corruption in the Indian media undermines democracy, was prepared by a two member sub-committee of the PCI.

Yes it’s a trade; it’s always been one. All it has done is metamorphosed from the practice of a skill to the far more realistic you-scratch-my-back-and-I-scratch-yours stage.

Nah, that’s a dirty phrase. It just trivializes the effort that goes into sustaining the mystic of morality while manufacturing opinion.

The I&B Ministry, from 2006 till July 14, 2009, issued 42 notices to various television channels (news and general entertainment) for airing violent and sexually explicit content. The maximum penalty awarded to a channel for airing content that violates the broadcasting laws is a ban of two months.

AXN channel was banned in India from 17.1.2007 to 28.2.2007 for telecasting a programme called World’s Sexiest Advertisements. Similarly, FTV was banned for two months after the order of 29.3.2007 for showing a programme called Midnight Hot.

Watch the interesting story of Manoj Kewalramani, who left a cushy job of a senior news producer with an English news channel, to travel the length and breadth of India and talk to the STARS of Loksabha Polls 2009 – “The Indian Electorate”.

A bunch of self-styled guardians force themselves in a posh city pub and thrash women in the name of upholding our much-maligned and much-abused traditional Indian moral values. The incident portends the ominous truth that these are grave times indeed.

A frenzied media went haywire in the aftermath of the ugly attack as social activists and ministers alike ranted against what they described as the ‘Talibanisation of India’.