Enough is enough. The Mainstream media has been watching its credibility being taken to the cleaners by the Bloggers and they have had, had enough.
They have decided to hit back with a indignant rant of their own.And this one comes straight from the venerable TimesofIndia the largest selling English language Tabloid in India also known popularly and affectionately as ToI(let) paper.
The first salvo goes like this, How dare you criticise us?
Bloggers claim in their hifalutin tones that they want to give a voice to the voiceless and replace the newspapers with their journalism.
I never heard of anyone saying this except perhaps the PajamasMedia. It is mostly because the media has allowed itself to be whored by the special interest groups. It is covering up or twisting facts that are inconvenient, and are basically shying away from speaking the truth as it is fearing that they could be targetted by the lynch mobs(hint).
Learning and mastering good journalism is tough.
Agreed. Maybe that is why ToI(let) paper has decided to take the easy way out. It has become a scandal sheet with pictures of half-naked or almost naked ladies in its supplements, Editorials which can be purchased at a price, planted stories and loony left-wing propoganda. It seems to be catering to the lowest common denominator and it seems to be working with increasing circulation.
You learn it in libraries, on flooded streets, in front of a rioting mob, in the middle of crossfire between a militia and a military, in war trenches, in the corridors of power and in the hamlets of deprivation. Sometimes, a reporter walks for miles in an area ravaged by a tsunami to get one quote from the man hanging on to a tree for a week. Bloggers don’t have to worry about such inane things. They can learn history and politics from google. They can get their “facts from newspapers” and then slam them with their half-baked opinions.
This sounds like a lame excuse. The “good journalists” feel free to slam and pontificate at everyone and anyone.They project themselves as Know-it-all types.They feel free to criticize the politicians, the bureaucrats, the police, the students, the corporations, the doctors, the engineers without ever flipping through even one textbook of anatomy or ever passing a tough engineering exam. Without ever knowing how it is to stand in front of a patient whose life or death is in your hands and you have to get it right in 30 seconds or less, without ever knowing how it is to design and build a apartment which can safely house thousands.So why this whining when now they themselves are being held to account? And btw, my dear journo please do try Google it is much better source than Karl Marx to get to know the world better and thanks to Google News we can get our “facts” from any newspaper/media source/BLOG in the world.
The second salvo is to say that the bloggers are not really humanoids.
Everyone has a story to tell, but everyone is not a natural-born storyteller. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but a lot of people confuse it with meaningless fuming and ranting. Everyone has a right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.
Example– Good idea. But the pace at which the blogosphere is getting cramped with half-wits, religious maniacs, failed writers, sociopaths and cold-blooded killers, is scary. They all scream so loudly that those talking sense have to drop their decibel levels. Every 10 minutes, some three million new bloggers invade the WWW with a vengeance. It looks like revenge of the amateur who dreams of becoming a reporter. And that’s a cause for concern. The editorial content – uncontrolled and unregulated – has made it free for all: In the UK, PayPerPost and Bloggers Republic offer such opinions that would invite legal suits in a newspaper; the US marines are using myspace.com for giving a positive spin to their stories from Iraq, and in Canada, an “angel of death” wrote a blog before shooting at 20 people. Forget wrong grammar and bad spellings, bloggers are now writing murders on the web.
Now i would call the above paragraph as meaningless fuming and ranting and the abuse of privilege of the right to be stupid and make an ass of oneself. So stupidity is not the exclusive preserve of the bloggers it seems to afflict the rabble rousers of the mainstream media too.
And then to attack the credibility of the bloggers themselves.
But the smart people in the corporate world have realised the uses of these mercenaries. They are looking for bloggers who are interested in being paid. Eager to make quick bucks, many have already boarded the train of paid bloggers, blowing away their claims of citizen-generated media, free from the restrictions of top-down “old media”. Since there is no accountability and no audit, we don’t really know which blogger is being paid by whom to spin what kind of “truth” on the web.
This columnist himself has made the claim that every 10 minutes 3 million bloggers invade the Web. A great exaggeration, thankfully i don’t depend on ToI(let) paper to get my “facts”. According to Technorati there are 55 million plus blogs and there are a wide variety of people who blog. It is not like you can just setup you blog and people just flood in, that might happen if you are already a celebrity but for the rest it is a hard slog to build credibilty and readers over a period of time. If your content, any content is not good then you simply lose readers. It is democracy at its best unlike the mainstream media where you have no choice but listen to the meaningless fuming and ranting and abuse of the privilege of the right to be stupid of a select few reminscient of an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”.
And to give the devil its due. I think the mainstream media does a great job in bringing the news as it happens across the world. But the problem is when they try to mix up facts with their own fiction or project their own bias on it or better still they want to impose or push their opinions down the people’s throats. The people are not idiots many of them are subject experts and they are able to interpret somethings better than a journalist who is largely a “generalist”.
For a bunch of people who owe their jobs to the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Speech they should welcome all shades of opinion and even criticism of themselves rather than get indignant when they are held to account. Shobhan has got it wrong when he says
It has clicked with people in the West as there is some distrust of large media networks, particularly television, that fails to distinguish between a bike accident on the road and a big war devastating a country.In the West, blogs have become an outlet for the rage that people are no longer allowed to express in the actual world. But, in India, with a booming and vibrant media, journalism without an editorial process is a dangerous trend.
The Indian media too has lost its credibility as much as the western media. Nobody believes their spin not even their own members.