Forget Crypto, Lets discuss How News Circulate in India

For those who are our regular readers, they know by now that we don’t engage in publishing news that is already widely distributed by other media outlets. We at CoinCrunch are not a traditional media company, we are a media differentiator. We publish information that needs to be shared but hasn’t been.

So today, before we go on posting anything on cryptocurrency, we want to educate you on how the news work in India. Why is it that the news publications, the mainstream media are all able to share the same news on their website and almost at the same time?

Haven’t you always wondered that? NDTV, Business Standard, News18 will publish a similar news article within seconds. That is because of something called as a syndicated/wire feed.

How Most News Reach All Channels

To save costs and to focus more on breaking news coverage, most news outlets rely on something called as a syndicated feed for the rest of the news. For such other news, media agencies in India write/publish an article on a topic and then send it to all other media outlets.

These media outlets are then allowed to publish the article word-to-word, but ofcourse the title can be changed.

Check out the news that broke a few min ago about a Robbery on Gun Point

The Press Trust of India published an article with Headline “Cashier of a firm robbed at Gunpoint in Raj“. Notice they did not even write Rajasthan. Press Trust of India is one of the news providers for other channels.

Quickly and unsurprisingly the feed was picked up by India Today and Business Standard with the same headline. These Ad-laden pages of mainstream media focus more on you clicking on ads than on the news. Because all they are trying to do with wire feeds is to be on top of google and hence get more clicks. There is absolutely no research involved. In many cases these feeds are automatically published without any human intervention, case in point the Rajasthan spelling.

India today article syndicated feed from PTI
India Today Article on the news – unedited and provided by PTI

 

Business standard news on Cashier robbed from PTI
Business Standard Syndicated Feed from PTI

How The News Agencies work

Many firms in India and worldwide provide syndicated feeds. AFP, Reuters, AP are some of the biggest names in the industry for global news.

Back at home we have two most used agencies – Press Trust of India (PTI) and Asian News International (ANI). Besides them, we also get feed from Reuters India, Cogencis and many more. These agencies are also known as ‘wires’ informally.

Such agencies have reporters around the country who attend events, rallies, or take interviews. These reporters are first on scene and they send information and photographs back to their office. An editor will then put together the report and send it across to other news outlets.

This way the other media outlets don’t have to send their own reporters to scene and can publish the happenings from there in almost real time. They pay the wires a fee for their service.

Wires in Cryptocurrency News

Lately, I have been observing a lot of these wires venturing into cryptocurrency market news. The most important news to come out of them in recent days was about Government’s inclination towards regulating cryptocurrencies. It was published by Cogencis.

The News that broke out yesterday about Kerala’s decision to use blockchain in the supply chain industry was actually sent by Press Trust of India and I couldn’t even find it on PTI website.

This is where it gets messy. The lack of knowledge in the subject shows, as NDTV used an image on miners as the cover of the article. Kerala’s blockchain will be a state owned private distributed ledger database. It is not even a blockchain and it definitely doesn’t require mining.

The news also make it to business standard and Indiatoday but was only shared widely on NDTV, thanks to the change of Headline.

Kerala to Use Blockchain headline from NDTV

This is not all. Now, the other outlets who actually are not paying PTI or any other wires use this news to create their own article and publish on the website (With a promising headline) without adding any extra information or any other researched data. It is, by all means, stealing someone’s work. One publication even wrote “reported by Press trust of India” and shared the link of Business Standard.

It Gets Worse

Everything is acceptable at the end of the day if the news reaches a wider audience and spreads awareness. But what happens when the news is not well researched and is not spreading the correct information?

I read an article today that was shared with me and I was left wondering about the future of media in cryptocurrency in India. The article was published on Business Standard. The article was provided by ANI.

The ANI feed article is about ‘5 platforms that provide crypto beyond Bitcoin’. There are over a dozen exchanges that provide more cryptos other than Bitcoin on their exchanges in India and the five chosen ones for the article are:

  1. Unocoin
  2. Koinex
  3. Coinswitch
  4. WazirX
  5. Alluma

How many mistakes can you find in this article without even reading it?

  1. Where is Zebpay which is currently pulling the highest volume in India?
  2. Where is Bitbns which has 50 cryptocurrencies trading on their platform, the highest on any exchange in India?
  3. Why is Alluma here? They haven’t even launched their product to public yet.
  4. Why aren’t we talking about P2P exchanges like Giottus and Instashift?
  5. Where is Coindelta which along with Koinex changed the game of Cryptocurrency trading in India?

I can literally go on. It almost feels like this was a sponsored post by someone to promote their own exchange. And mind you, so much of the information on this article is factually incorrect. Such as

  • Unocoin process 2B INR volume in a month. This is plain wrong.
  • Coinswitch allows 300 coins to be exchanged on their platform. Not for India.
  • WazirX also announced the launch of India‘s own digital asset, WRX. It is not India’s it is WazirX’s digital asset. You can’t call BNB as Malta or Hong Kong’s currency, you call it Binance’s crypto currency.
  • Alluma’s fast and easy online on-boarding process makes the exchange attractive to advanced and novice traders alike. Alluma is on closed beta. We don’t know how easy the on-boarding process is because they aren’t on-boarding openly yet. 

Can we Really Trust Our Agencies?

Yes. These agencies have proven to share important news on time a lot of times. They are just bad in the space of cryptocurrencies. It is not their space and they need to hire experts for reporting.

That being said, the news agencies and media outlets are full of good and bad people. But to publish articles that are going to later be published by over 10 other prominent media websites, you need to be vigilant about the information that goes out.

And ANI, of all, has been accused of misguiding news in the past as well. During Demonetisation, ANI interviewed their own employee for a story on demonetisation.

Appeal to Readers

Guys I know how tempting it is to share articles just based on their headlines. But please make an effort to not do that. Articles are meant to be read. When you open the article, check who has written it. Is the the staff of the news website or by an agency such as ANI or PTI?

Do your own research. Call them out if their news is not appropriate. But do not share unless it is absolutely true and has appropriate sources. At the very least share it if your gut believes the news.

Now you know how the news that you read actually reaches you. Share this knowledge with other and educate them. Together we will make a sustainable crypto community.

What do you think about these agencies? Let us know in the comments below



Cover image by John Haynes on Flicker under CC 2.0

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