KCR sponsors NDTV ‘feature’, Modi and Yogi get free advertising on ABP

This week, we’re shifting gears to bring you a special episode breaking down what ad-supported programming looks like on newscasts and the various forms this behemoth has taken in the Indian news ecosphere.

First, a Hindi infomercial from the Telugu-speaking state of Telangana on NDTV. Almost passed off as news, we look at how such “sponsored feature films” are released without any explicit disclaimer and what that implies for the role of media in a democracy.

We then watch two weekly shows on ABP News called “Modi Tracker” and “Yogi Tracker” which are technically not infomercials except that they are functionally indistinguishable.

Speaking of TV news ads, we can’t help but talk about the morning shop Ramdev settles on Indian televisionoffering cures for every ailment under the sun, from prostate cancer to brain tumours!

How does this ad-supported programming work and what does it mean for you as a viewer but also, above all, as a citizen of a democracy?

And why should you pay to keep the news free?

Look.

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TV Newsance is Newslaundryweekly media critic and political satire show. We watch TV news so you don’t have to!

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