A breakdown of the government’s expenditure on ads shows a clear shift away from newspapers and broadcasters over the years to social media and its own online publicity arm.
In May 2016, a reporter from a national newspaper met a senior minister in the Narendra Modi government. The meeting happened at the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi’s South Block. “The minister wanted to know the circulation of my newspaper,” recalls the reporter, asking to remain anonymous. “I told him it was just below a lakh copies.”
The minister was amused. “He snapped out his phone and said that he had four million followers on Twitter,” the reporter adds. “He said he could reach many more people on social media with just a tweet. So why did he have …
Ayush reported on the travails of the media and social media platforms in India at The Morning Context. He was previously at Newslaundry, where he reported on sectarian violence and politics from Northeast India, Kashmir and North India.