Rajya Sabha members on Tuesday expressed concern over ‘paid news’ and decided to take up the issue for a structured debate.
The issue was raised during the zero hour by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijay Goel who said paid news has affected the media’s credibility.
He was supported by members across party lines, including Congress leader Anand Sharma, Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav, and K.C. Tyagi, and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury.
The leader of the House Arun Jaitley said a structured debate on the issue should be taken up. The finance minister said a time should be fixed for discussion on the issue in the current or the next parliament session.
Jaitley termed paid news as an “aberration” and added that all members are committed to freedom of media.
“Advertising is the right of everyone… But when the government starts excessive advertising, where is the dividing line between excessive advertisement and bribery,” said Jaitley.