No, TIME Didn’t Run a Story Praising Yogi Govt’s Handling of COVID
Several mainstream media houses, including Zee News, News18 Hindi and ABP News, fell for the sponsored content.
A sponsored article by the Uttar Pradesh government in the TIME magazine was picked up by several mainstream news organisations as the international publication congratulating Yogi government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official handle of BJP Uttar Pradesh tweeted that TIME magazine lauded the efforts of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his handling of COVID-19.
Various news organisations such as Zee News, ABP News, News 18 Hindi, Patrika among others shared the story claiming that Adityanath’s handling of the pandemic is receiving international praise.
The same post was also shared on Twitter by Rishi Bagree, a user who has often been called out for spreading disinformation. The post had been retweeted over 2,700 times at the time of publishing this article.
The Quint also received a query about it on its Tipline number.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
This article appeared in the magazine’s 21 December edition which has the cover image of US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The article titled “Hang in there, better times are ahead” carries a disclaimer on top which reads “Content from Uttar Pradesh” which indicates that the article is sponsored content and not an editorial piece by the TIME magazine. The same disclaimer can be seen on the next page of the article as well.
Further, in an email exchange with The Quint’s WebQoof team, TIME magazine confirmed that the content is sponsored.
“This is sponsored content, as indicated by the ‘Content From Uttar Pradesh’ language that appears on the advertisement page,” the email read.
Clearly, news organisations fell for a sponsored piece of content from UP government and reported it to be a news report by TIME. Fact-checking website, BOOM, has also called out these organisations for misreporting.
(Editor’s Note: The story has been updated with the tweet shared by BJP Uttar Pradesh’s official handle and TIME Magazine’s response to The Quint.)
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