Meaning, the entity who compiled the information spent money to get it in front of you. Commercials, online advertisements, and prime time shows are all paid media. Basic litmus test: If there are ads before/after/around it, it’s paid media.
Real news doesn’t cost money to get to you. If a hurricane was headed to your town, no one has to spend money to inform you about it. Any real danger you need to be notified of will find you quickly, and it won’t cost anyone anything.
Paid media is controlled by those who have the resources to get it distributed, and all humans have agendas — good or bad. One good thing is media must focus on what most people will pay attention to — so if what you do draws enough grassroots attention you can find yourself in the news without it costing you anything.