Times versus Zee

Naveen Jindal’s press conference exposing Zee Group has pitted Times Group against Zee Group. Zee editors Sudhir Chaudhar and Samir Ahluwalia said Times Group engages in paid news. Front page reports in Economic Times are paid for. Reports in Bombay Times and Delhi Times are paid for. Madhur Bhandarkar paid for his interview. Medianet belongs to Times Group. Medianet people approached Aamir Khan when 3 Idiots was about to be released and promised him four stars rating.

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, the company that owns Times Group, has decided to send a legal notice to Zee Group for defamation. It is interesting to see one media house against another in court. If there is no out of court settlement Zee Group will have to call Madhur Bhandarkar and Aamir Khan as witnesses. It will be embarrassing for Madhur Bhandarkar to say he paid for his interview and for Aamir Khan to say he paid for rating. Paying for rating is useless. Most people do not care about film reviews by critics and how many stars are assigned. They depend on what others say. There are people who attend first day first show. For them rating is immaterial. Ratings may make the producers and directors feel good and boost their egos.

Producers, directors, actors, and actresses of films about to be released appear on news channels. Do they pay for the appearances?

Samir Ahluwalia said “At least we’re doing a proper, transparent deal with you, not running a paid front page story.” Extortion by blackmail is not a transparent deal.

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