Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said a review of newspapers which get government advertisements was taken recently, and 800 publications were removed from the list of ad-recipients while cases were filed against 270 bogus newspapers.
He also said that "development" should make headlines, not "obstruction".
"I want to see that genuine publications are supported. Already more than 800 publications have been withdrawn (from list of government advertisement recipients) and around 270 FIRs have been filed against fraudulent papers," he told reporters here.
In Maharashtra alone, only 2,000 of the 18,000 registered publications have filed mandatory annual statements in the last five years, he said, and promised action against errant newspapers.
"All others will be screened and (their) advertisements will be stopped," he said, noting that this will invariably lead to allegation of small newspapers being targeted.
"Small is beautiful, but they must also be dutiful," the minister said, adding that public money cannot be spent on newspapers which do not publish at all.
A single press in Lucknow was found to be printing 65 newspapers and the government is now checking its power bills to establish if that indeed is the case, he said.
Naidu, speaking after a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said development or construction, and not "obstruction" should dominate the media headlines.
"Development is the news. Since Narendra Modi took over as the PM, news is development. Construction is development. Not obstruction, that can be side-news. The main news should be on development because there is a new hunger or thirst," he said.
Naidu said he has asked Fadnavis to make use of state broadcasters All India Radio and Doordarshan to "propagate" the message of development.