Have Cash? Get Media Coverage…

During my graduation years I read one of the world’s largest selling daily newspaper to get my dosage of news on latest business trends, current affairs and things happening around town. I felt enriched by my level of awareness and would often take part in discussions and debates. Years passed and I joined a PR agency where I learnt that most of the executives avoided the newspaper I read as they believed or it was a known fact that it carried paid news.

What exactly is Paid News?

Paid News is broadly:

  • Publishing or broadcasting advertisements masquerading as news
  • Paying the press money for publishing or broadcasting news in favour of a particular individual, organization or brand
  • Individuals, organization or brands  advertising in newspapers/ news channels in return for free articles/ airtime

Being in the profession I regularly hear rumours about political candidates, organizations, celebs etc paying money to a newspaper or news channel to elicit favourable news coverage. Browsing through newspapers I usually see a full-page advertisement of a brand, on turning the page I see an article of the same brand. Sometimes the article may appear in a day or two, or even after a week, but it does appear.

It feels like a waste of time reading an article that was actually an advertisement. It feels worse if you actually voted for a political candidate, bought shares of a company, applied to a university after reading and believing the positive article that was actually paid for.

Is the journalist to be blamed? Well, the journalist can say that he had succumbed to pressures from his seniors or from the people who play a major role in generating income for the media house, i.e., the marketing department and get out of the mucky situation.

On the other hand, many newspapers while publishing a favourable article that is paid for usually place a visible header that reads – Advertisement, Advertorial, or Media Marketing Initiative, which is the legitimate way of selling space.

There is no way one could distinguish which newspaper or news channel is carrying paid news and which isn’t. No one knows the extent to which this is happening; even the smartest in the industry cannot spot and claim that this channel or publication carries paid news.

It’s sad and critical for the dozens of media houses that don’t sell their editorial space as they get dragged along with the rest when such a topic arises. The best brains in the industry need to congregate to think this through carefully.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

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Fast Five: Toretto and Brian back on track (2011)

It’s been time that I start looking forward to another sequel from the Fast and the Furious stable. The last sequel in 2009 made it big for Universal Studios at the box office. Many Fast & Furious fans remember Brian and Mia racing to free Toretto in the last installment.

Great news for them all – its official, the team of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and director Justin Lin have all signed for what is to be called — Fast Five, to release on June 10, 2011.

Vin Diesel himself made the announcement to his 7,678,055 and rising fans on facebook that read…

Had a meeting with Justin Lin today regarding the Fast saga… some daring but fascinating thoughts in terms of action set pieces… and relationships, old and new.

The team is on their way to Brazil this evening, to scout, and to see what selection of cars there are.

P.s. Will be talking to DT next week, maybe he can let me show some concept art of Riddick… Peace.

Now the question is where will ‘Fast Five’ take place —  Brazil or Europe are the hints given at this time.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

And the Oscar goes to…


The Hurt Locker won in the following categories —  Best Picture; Directing; Film Editing; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; Writing (Original Screenplay)
Avatar won the Oscar for — Art Direction; Cinematography; Visual Effects
Precious for : Actress in a Supporting Role; Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

List of Winners — Oscar 2010

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

Actress in a Leading Role: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz 9 (Inglourious Basterds)

Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique (Precious)

Directing: The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

Animated Feature Film: Up (Pete Docter)

Art Direction: Avatar (Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg (Art Direction); Kim Sinclair (Set Decoration)

Cinematography: Avatar (Mauro Fiore)

Costume Design: The Young Victoria (Sandy Powell)

Documentary Feature: The Cove (Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens)

Documentary Short: (Music by Prudence (Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett)

Film Editing: The Hurt Locker (Bob Murawski and Chris Innis)

Foreign Language Film: The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)

Makeup: Star Trek (Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow)

Music (Original Score): Up (Michael Giacchino)

Music (Original Song): Crazy Heart “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)”

Short Film (Animated): Logorama (Nicolas Schmerkin)

Sound Editing: The Hurt Locker (Paul N.J. Ottosson)

Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker (Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett)

Visual Effects: Avatar (Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones)

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Precious – Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

(Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher)

Writing (Original Screenplay): The Hurt Locker (Written by Mark Boal)

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com