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THT Misleading Online Readers for Ad-Money

June 21st, 2009

Popular Nepali blogs like Mysansar.com have been accusing The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post of publishing news biased towards India. Being a foreign invested organization, it is likely that the news it covers would be as per foreign interest. It is an important issue that needs to be researched by Nepalese government followed by proper action. This post is about bad business ethics of THT, but a different one than above.

It is common practice for online media to place advertisement on their web-site. That is their only source of revenue. But THT is using inappropriate technique to increase their online revenue from advertisement. It is required that advertisements that are cost-per-click (publishers are paid for every click on ads) be identified clearly as advertisement. On the contrary, THT is intentionally displaying ads as news with the motive of increasing the number of clicks on the ads. See the Google ad below which the THT featured as ‘Related News’.


TheHimalayanTimes.com featuring Google ad as Related News

TheHimalayanTimes.com featuring Google ad as Related News

You can see this for yourself at THT unless they change it.

The practice of misleading readers is the most condemnable act from a media house; be it for money or anything else. When THT can boldly feature ads as ‘Related News’ for few cents; on what basis can we trust that their news is unbiased. In my honest opinion, the few cents from the additional click is not worth the bad impression THT will gain from this malpractice. It is something we would never do at Rangeen Chara!

Categories: Report
  1. July 1st, 2009 at 02:16 | #1

    @Prakash Manandhar
    You could be right but there is already another section above the ‘Related News’ section in the page that is titled ‘Also Read’. The motive of both sections are same: suggest other related content to the readers. But the ‘Related News’ section NEVER has any news items, just the ads!

    The only question then is whether the management is aware of the issue at all. At least one Nepali online media is taking this issue seriously: http://www.nagariknews.com/ just started publishing advertisements and the ads are clearly marked as advertisement.

  2. June 30th, 2009 at 08:16 | #2

    I don’t think it is deliberate. It seems to be an honest mistake from the web designer.

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