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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Power of Pen & How MSM is changing with the times

Happened to read a couple of BBC articles, which reflect on the relationship between MSM and Blogs today. The first article is by Bill Thompson and he discusses how journalists need to change with the times.

It's also important for any journalist or would-be journalist to have an online presence to supplement their CV and portfolio, since more and more people looking for jobs are going to find their online activities scrutinised as part of the application process.

Elsewhere every journalist now knows to expect comment and criticism from the blogosphere, and those who might once have cut corners by not checking facts or cutting and pasting phrases from other people's work should now find their lives less comfortable.

The growth of internet use and the emergence of easy-to-use publishing tools could well be the best thing that has happened to journalism since radio and then television offered new ways to reach people, but that requires a certain degree of modesty and a great willingness to learn on the part of a profession that is not noted for either attribute.


Plagiarism by Indian MSM is among the hotly debated topics these days. A UK based blog has instituted an award called Press Plagiarist of the Year award. The second BBC article discusses this Cut and Paste culture and the Google investigative journalism that is taking shape. It would be good to see such awards in India too. Some of the Indian nominees would be more than willing to get away after buying an expensive gift for the bloggers.

This is one of the strengths of the blogosphere: playing a different game to professional writers, with a different set of aspirations.

The Press Plagiarist Of The Year Award, likewise, is not out to make any friends. With so much of the blogosphere devoted to howling at mainstream media, the award could easily have come over as self-important, worthy and whiny.

But by taking the mickey out of bloggers (weblog research is referred to as "Googling investigative reporting") and itself (in the spirit of transparent corruption, nominees can have themselves removed by paying in the form of the fancy wine Chateau Margaux), it's actually a spot of much-needed fun in the often-tiresome war between old and new media.

Leading MSM sites (like MSNBC / Newsweek) are providing a Technorati link icon, which shows the number of blogs that are discussing the news article at any point in time. This is a double-edged sword as bloggers could also be bitching about the article and those reading Newsweek online could get to hear some dissenting voices as well. However, this sends a signal that Newsweek is open to criticism. One more problem with the Technorati link is that lot of spam blogs start linking to the Newsweek article (based on keywords) and they also start figuring in the list of Technorati links.

Some other MSM sites (an Australian newspaper) has started providing Wikipedia links to some of the topics and issues discussed in their articles. These are some MSM initiatives to ensure that the reader gets the whole picture. If this were to happen in India, an article on IIPM would be accompanied by Technorati search on IIPM and the Wikipedia link to IIPM.

6 Comments:

  • If this were to happen in India, an article on IIPM would be accompanied by Technorati search on IIPM and the Wikipedia link to IIPM.
    Fat chance of this happening in the near future. Yesterday (or was it the day before) I saw a 3-page ad in ToI by IIPM. 3 full pages, 2 of them being the centerspread (hope I am using the right term).

    Btw does anybody know how much such an ad would cost?

    By Anonymous Varun, at 11:12 PM  

  • Varun,
    I think there is a faint chance. I also heard about the 3 page ads in all newspapers. The cost may run into a few crores.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 9:28 PM  

  • Am linking to this post

    By Blogger Nina, at 9:58 PM  

  • Nina,
    feel free to do so

    By Blogger Kaps, at 10:18 PM  

  • Leading MSM sites (like MSNBC / Newsweek) are providing a Technorati link icon, which shows the number of blogs that are discussing the news article at any point in time.

    Washington Post started this IMHO first.

    By Blogger Jagan Mohan, at 10:23 PM  

  • If I was You, and you was me,would we have this conversation, no!THINK!but then again,hey,it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around.
    INDIAN IN ANOTHER LAND

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:49 AM  

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