Claim: Hina Pervaiz Butt claimed that prominent journalist and co-founder of the media company Zeteo, Mehdi Hasan, was paid to publish PTI founder Imran Khan’s interview.

Fact: The claim is false. The word “paid”, visible in the image of the article shared by Hina Pervaiz Butt, shows that the full interview is only accessible to paid subscribers. It does not indicate that the organisation was paid to publish the interview, or that Imran Khan was paid to give the interview.

On 20 May 2024, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member Hina Pervaiz Butt posted an image (archive) on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption,

پیسے لو انٹرویو دو۔۔

Translation [Take the money and give an interview.]

The image shows an article, titled “EXCLUSIVE: Imran Khan Talks to Me From Prison”, published by the international media outlet Zeteo. The word “paid”, written below the byline, is highlighted in a red box.

Screenshot of the article with the word “paid” highlighted in a red box.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check investigated the claim which implies that journalist Mehdi Hasan was paid, presumably by Imran Khan or the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to publish the interview with the former prime minister.

Hasan took to social media to deny the claim. He clarified in a tweet that “paid” meant that the article is behind a paywall and is accessible only to paid subscribers. He added that the label does not suggest that the interview involved any transactional exchange between Imran Khan and Zeteo.

Furthermore, Soch Fact Check noted that the “About us” section of Zeteo’s website allows users to select paid subscriptions to get access to bonus content, for the organisation to remain independent.

Screenshot of the Zeteo’s website describing the paid subscription model.


On X, the post received 876.6K views, 640 likes and 540 reposts within a few hours.

The claim was also shared here on Facebook.

Conclusion: The word “paid”, written under the byline of Zeteo’s interview with Imran Khan does not indicate that the publication was paid by Khan or the PTI. The label means that the article is behind a paywall and, therefore, only available for paid subscribers.



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