A day after the New York Times published a frontpage story on the Aam Aadmi Party’s efforts to improve Delhi’s education system, the American newspaper clarified on Friday that the story was based on impartial on-ground reporting and was not an advertisement or paid for in any way, according to a by NDTV.
The clarification came after BJP leaders called the report “paid news”.
The about the Arvind Kejriwal government’s education model was carried in the NYT’s international edition on Thursday. And it’s been widely promoted by AAP leaders. The story, which took up the bulk of the frontpage, focused on how the Kejriwal government was “overhauling an education system that serves as a lifeline for millions of families looking to break the cycle of poverty”. It was written by one of the paper’s correspondents in Delhi, Karan Deep Singh.
But BJP leaders claimed the story was “paid news” because Khaleej Times, a daily in the UAE, had carried the same article with the same byline and pictures. Khaleej Times did indeed carry the same report today but the daily clearly indicated that it was republishing the New York Times piece.
The NYT clarification incidentally came on the day that the CBI conducted raids at the residence of Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in connection with the case over the state’s excise policy.
As per the NDTV report, NYT responded to the TV news channel’s queries saying the story was based on impartial reporting, and that education was an issue that the New York Times has covered for years.
“Journalism from the New York Times is always independent, free from political or advertiser influence,” the paper said. “Other news outlets routinely license and republish our coverage.”
AAP, meanwhile, had linked the CBI raid on Sisodia to the NYT story. “On the day the biggest newspaper in America has a photo of Manish Sisodia on the frontpage with an article praising the Delhi education model, the same day CBI teams have been sent by the Centre to his home,” chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, adding that the education model was being discussed worldwide which the BJP wanted to stop.
Notably, when the Uttar Pradesh government had paid for an advertorial in Time magazine about chief minister Adityanath’s “excellent and efficient” Covid management model, Indian TV news channels had as the American magazine’s “praise” and “appreciation” for the state’s Covid response.
The Time ad declared that “being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it is leadership,” and that “no other leader exemplifies this than the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath”.
Several media outlets declared that Time had lavished praise on Adityanath despite the fact that it was an advertisement. The UP government had sent the ad out as a government press briefing to journalists in December. Time told Newslaundry at the time that the feature “is sponsored content, as indicated by the 'Content From Uttar Pradesh' language that appears on the advertisement page”.