Carrying forward from my previous post on how the quality of newspapers is just spiralling down (here), there is one very good post over at Cyberjournalist, which asks that why the media should fear the 'worst of the blogosphere'. Putting aside my hate for that word (no, not media!), the article does put up a valid question, which though I have tried to tackle in the past, haven't really hit the mark. I hope to do that today, with excerpts from that article.
Michael Kinsley made me laugh a decade ago when he argued against Web populists replacing professional writers, saying that when he goes to a restaurant, he wants the chef to cook his entree, not the guy sitting at the next table. I'm not laughing anymore: When there are millions of aspiring chefs in the room willing to make your dinner for free, a least a hundred of them are likely to deal a good meal.A very good point. Bloggers reach out to the people on a more personal level. Journalists usually stay away from making personal comments or what they feel, because they know the magnitude of people who are going to read that article. Plus, they don't want negative publicity either, because today journalists are already under a lot of bashing because of dropping quality and more focus on sensationalism rather than usability. Like Amir Khan said on an interview with NDTV/24x7, that today a headline and its following story is shown with booming background music, the presenter constantly asking questions in a tone which hint at trying to provoke a sense of thrill ... they have turned news into soap operas. They dramatise the news so much to attract the viewer into being emotionally involved with it, that they forget to add the details which actually matter to the person watching. Bloggers aren't restricted by that. They know exactly what they want to say, and they know exactly what others around them want. After all, a teacher won't know how to make studying fun. You need to speak to the students to understand what they want in their lessons, don't you? Similarly, journalists sitting in offices will not understand or know what the average person wants to know about. They can be delusional about it, which 80% of them are ... and thats what leads to experiments gone wrong such as the Delhi Times (here).
The newspaper guild (again, reporters, editors, publishers) can't compete by adding a few blogs here, blogging up coverage over there, and setting up "comment" sections. If newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters don't produce spectacular news coverage no blogger can match, they have no right to survive.Exactly! Instead of seeing the blogging universe as a threat, the media should learn from it. See the trends, see the patterns, and understand what the people actually want. Blogs only crop up when someone has something to say about something else happening around him/her, and they don't have a proper outlet. Ofcourse, you can't hand everyone their own column in a newspaper, but you can always throw in an article or two every once in a while which deals with those issues. That keeps everyone happy! (Did I just give them a way of killing off blogs?) Next in the lineup: Battle of the news channels! Filed Under: journalism, blogs, news