Faking News, India’s version of the Onion, has been acquired by Firstpost, one of the country’s major online news portals, for an undisclosed amount.

Medianama reported today that the website famous for satirizing Indian politics and society would now be formally integrated into the Firstpost  infrastructure, which itself is part of Network18, the country’s media giant with ties to NBC Universal and Viacom.

The publication has a new URL to reflect the change – www.fakingnews.firstpost.com.

For those looking for a quick and dirty analogy, the move would be akin to CNN purchasing the Onion (though astute readers know that America’s finest news source is in fact owned by Chinese conglomerate Yu Wan Mei).

In the website’s official announcement, Durga Raghunath of Firstpost stated “With outstanding takes across every human folly, vice, or shortcoming, [founder] Rahul Roushan’s digital product has made us all laugh and look at India news and the caricature of it so smartly. Our strong belief is that those who are digital news addicts, are also those who have an enormous appetite for satire.”

Medianama points out that the purchase will not only provide financial support for Faking News, which originated as a one man show run by Rahul Roushan, but will also add a veneer of legitimacy to the site at a time when free speech in India is not guaranteed. Of course, this could go the other way too, as the website’s new corporate affiliation could lead to new pressures to toe the party line.

In any event, the acquisition makes an interesting case study in the mainstream-ization of political satire within a developing online media landscape.

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