Fake News about a Government IT Project Award to the single company has gone viral. According to the news, a digital media services company –Brando Marketing – announced on its Facebook pages that it will be “powering all government projects” after being signed as official Digital Media Partner of Government of Pakistan. The news was first published by a leading newspaper that claimed it has uncovered a mega-scandal of billions of rupees in first 100 days of the PTI government.
While the newspaper acknowledged that all the services are being offered free of charge, it did not clarify that according to PPRA rules this does not require tendering. Neither the author checked with NITB if the claim has any grounds. The alleged scandal revolves around the provision of services by a Digital Media Partner, Brando Marketing, for NITB.
It is high time that media does some overhaul of writers/reporter/editors who scandalize anything and everything, particularly any positive steps taken by the government. The publishing newspaper, at the very least should try to do some research before publishing any such news. Moreover, the fake news which has been published, include phrases such as ‘shady dealings’ etc. merely to seek public attention. The writer of the said article should have done some research or conducted an interview with either NITB or Brando Marketing in order to secure some credibility for the news.
It also tried to link an unknown source that it handles the official page of PTI Chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan, which could be true but does not provide any wrongdoing. The article also wrongly accuses the company Brando Marketing by relying on unknown sources that it has done dealings in the past for money without giving any concrete evidence or source.
Excited to announce Brando will be powering government initiatives probono! Brando signed a MoU with the NITB becoming Official Digital Partner of Gov of Pakistan. Brando with expertise in mktng will give these services free as part of national responsibility.#Brando pic.twitter.com/XZWXL0exV6
— Brando Marketing (@BrandoMktg) November 17, 2018
However, on other hands, NITB revealed that Brando having expertise in marketing will give these services free as part of the national responsibility. The author tried to caste some shadow on the free of cost services deal but failed to highlight that accordingly to PPRA law if public funds are not involved, PPRA rules of tending do not apply to any agreement.