Day4 on NaBloPoMo

Are bloggers journalists? Why or why not? If they are journalists, should they be held to journalistic standards? Why or why not?

Bloggers are primarily opinion creators,  disseminators so they have their views about events,  situations and they express it. But are they journalists? I have always considered bloggers similar to the editorial writers who were not merely reporting an event but delving into the causes and effect of the same. The bloggers today fulfill some lf these duties but there are different types bloggers. Some like sharing their life, others some information,  many do give their opinion on subjects that attract them. There is a large difference between someone,  even a journalist writing an editorial piece, they must keep in mind not just the journalistic standards but also take responsibility for the thought they put out there and the words they choose to communicate it. Bloggers mostly do not have to take on a professional responsibility for what they express on their blog because it is more often than not a personal space and at the very most they will receive negative comments but since it is their personal space they can easily defend their space. When the journalist puts his opinion out for public consumption he may face chastisement from the public and needs to take it in his stride,  he will defend his point of view but he must do so keeping with the professional etiquettes.
Today one does see a spate of blogs being promoted by news media houses but one must see that these blogs are seen as public opinion generators,  monitors and measurement devices.  Hence the raw fact of journalism is usually not found o  such blogs. Writing about news events cannot be termed as news.
Bloggers are not journalists.

But that does not change the importance that bloggers have in today’s world, they can change the public opinion and influence the public to support a cause or go against something. Bloggers are now hired to d exactly this. I am glad that although bloggers may not be journalists they have gained an entry into the group of influencers that drive our pop culture, public opinion, tastes, opinions and choices. The empowerment that has come to bloggers who have till now been seen as amateurs is long overdue. And being one of the group, as a blogger, I feel hopeful soon we will see a different kind of journalism, this time through the blogs that have the ability to reach out to Everyman.



Day 3 on NaBloPoMo

Have there been events when you’ve turned to social media over traditional media or vice versa?

I remember the time when we were young and there would be a General Election everyone at home would sit around glued to the Telly and tuned into the news channel. This time around during the state assembly election I found it hard to depend on the social media to understand the exit polls and once the final results were being declared I missed watching the scrolling bar at the bottom of the Telly announcing the numbers. The attraction of social media is great especially because of its convenience but there are times when I would rather watch the news channel or for that matter tune into the radio than be online.

A few days ago I had a similar experience again while the cricket world cup was on. I was at work and the only thing I could access was a smart phone app that gave live commentary of the game and it was one of the worst experiences I have had. It ruined my enjoyment of the game and at the end of it I felt it would have been better had I not checked the scores at all. Even being on Twitter or any other social media during Oscar night was excruciating while I sat working at office. You could see all the glimpses but some how it left one dissatisfied and irritated.

I somehow feel post these three experiences that somethings are better enjoyed on traditional media like the Telly especially when it is a Live Event rather than on social media.



NaBloPoMo Day 2

How do you get your news right now? How does it differ from 10 years ago?

With time the way we receive news has evolved, in fact the change has more to do with developments of technology in media as well as in communication. I make a distinction because in media there was a wide gap of decades between the invention of radio, when one heard the news, then came the Television. These were predated by the Newspaper, the chronicler of our times, that’s how I see them. Although newspapers have evolved with time and not necessarily to my liking but the coming of communication revolution with the internet at our finger tips drastically changed the way news came to us. It came to us through electronic mail and websites, then it came to us on our smartphone through news related apps. But if you really put your head down and think about it where are we getting this news from? Has the source changed? 10 years ago we read about war in Afghanistan, the fall of the Twin Towers, the Football World Cup, the break up of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. You get the picture? We got the news from our entertainment , current affairs, finance, world news journalists, writing and broadcasting on air. But now it’s different. What is this difference? This difference is now in the way the news is delivered to the audience. These are a few points where I find my experience of receiving news has changed over the years:

  1. Ease: I can access news with more ease than before. Whereas before I was limited by few mediums of news.
  2. Variety of mediums: I can pick and choose the way I get my news, on paper, through TV, on my smartphone or my laptop,
  3. Time: There is no constraint on the time when I can access the news, It is available 24×7.
  4. Choice: Although this point does become redundant in someways, the fact is now I can choose what stories are displayed to me. So, I can choose to ignore the news I have no interest in.

Social media has played the biggest part in ensuring news reaches everyone but has that made any difference to the ignorant? No. So, even today I have to explain to a 30 year old man who Lance Armstrong is. You see the social media revolution has opened up the world to us but what one must realize even though the doors may be open, not every one walks out and even if they do, not everyone learns from that experience. While Social media has helped me know more about world entertainment, sports, fashion and the literary world it has probably left the “frogs of the well” happily posting selfies.

There was a time when I was told to read at least 2 newspapers everyday, to improve my current affairs knowledge and writing skills and what note, the old world solution to given to all students, read a newspaper. I never really liked reading the news, nor watching it primarily because it was all too tedious and boring, And than feeling hasn’t changed even in this day and age of easily available news. But i feel like advising the people I meet to at least read a little news online, news beyond their small boundaries of country, community or religion. The social media has also made it easy for people to comment on every new item they read and some of these comments are also alarming. Now I know what other’s think about something that’s in the news and the hatered and negativity that is breeding in people’s mind is so evident, that it scares me.

New delivery has changed but I an still wondering whether it has made more positive changes and contribution to human knowledge and understanding.



Day 1 for me on NaBloPoMo

Would you ever want to be on the front lines, reporting from a conflict? Why or why not?

I have often been inspired by movies that depict the armed forces whether it is of my own country or USA, given my attraction towards motion pictures from Hollywood. But I have never really found myself imagining about a situation where I am part of this conflict. When I think about the war coverage by Barkha Dutt, our very own frontline journalist of India, who covered the Kargil war and it made her a household name in the country, I am impressed, I feel proud, yet I somehow don’t see myself in her shoes.

The fear of death is a big part of my psyche and the awareness that I am afraid of it is distinctly there and hence, i can put my hand on my heart and vouch that I lack the courage as well as the conviction to put myself in a perilous situation that endangers my well being.

Which brings me to the point that had I been a journalist i would have been more attuned to entertainment and sports rather than finance or current affairs primarily because I have the self image of being a creative individual. We all have our little ideas about ourselves and we enjoy feeling all knowing about our self worth. But who knows may be I would have done war reporting too had it come my way but yes consciously I donot think I would have chosen it.


New Directions

My attempt at regular blogging has taken a toll and hence I have decided to take the help of daily prompts. I have been intrigued by the NaBloPoMo prompts for a long time and although this is the middle of the month and I am not sure how I will continue to write everyday whilst play acting in the drama called my life. I am making the beginning today and hoping the prompts will get the creative juices flowing. Again this is also a new direction to my blog which has till date not really been about everyday life or opinions only. I have tried my best to steer clear of random babbling. I have wanted my blog to not become a mundane everyday venting outlet and keeping with that thought these out of the box prompts from NaBloPoMo will help me tap into yet untrodden paths in new directions.