Benefits and bylines
The farmer protests against the central government’s farm laws began last year.
In January, the UP government , the Kisan Kalyan Mission, which it claimed would “double” farmers’ income. Simultaneously, Jagran launched its own scheme: the dissemination of “positive news” on agriculture in the state.
At the time, a senior manager at Jagran told Newslaundry: “We’re doing it only to make farmers aware of the government schemes. We have no deal with the government.”
According to government data, between 2015 and 2019, Dainik Jagran received government ads worth Rs 85.78 crore from the Modi government.
With respect to September’s “marketing initiatives” in Jagran, three bylines – Devendra Singh, Rupali Dubey, Suyash Sharma – predominantly appeared across the advertorials.
An employee of Jagran in Lucknow told Newslaundry that Singh, Dubey and Sharma are “members of the marketing team”.
“They got bylines just like that,” the employee said. “They don’t write news. They bring advertisements from the government or other organisations.”
Singh and Sharma both confirmed to Newslaundry that they work in marketing at Jagran.
When we asked Sharma why his byline was being used, sometimes even to replace an actual reporter’s byline, he disconnected the call. When we called back 24 hours later, he said he was too busy to speak.
Singh also disconnected the call, saying he was sleepy.
Newslaundry reached out to Ashutosh Shukla, the editor of Dainik Jagran in Uttar Pradesh, but he did not answer our calls.
Newslaundry emailed questionnaires to Shukla and Vikas Chandra, the vice-president of marketing at Jagran. This report will be updated if they respond.
This story was first published in . It was translated to English by Utkarsh Mishra.