Friday, December 30, 2005

MSM bashing

Much as I am disgusted with T R Vivek's unfair and biased judgement of bloggers in Outlook, some comments I have seen on this sort of issue, time and again, make me want to put in a word here for MSM. We (bloggers) often make the mistake of identifying one journalists's attitude with that of the entire MSM's -- and that's just not true, so let's not get excited about how MSM feels threatened by us. Even one publication's antipathy towards blogging does not prove that MSM as a whole is dismissive about or feels threatened by blogging. The Telegraph, to take one example closest to me, has regularly commisioned stories on blogging, and all positive ones, and so have other newspapers and magazines.

What a lot of people, including people familiar with the workings of the media, tend to forget is that a publication's perceived attitude towards anythingis shaped by the individuals who work for it. I don't think it's like tomorrow, if I or any journo blogger joins Outlook, we will be asked to write anti-blogging stories. Most of the time, it's an individual response.

As for Outlook's attitude towards this, I suspect Vinod Mehta is hugely amused by this whole debate and is indulgently letting T R Vivek, the in-house skeptic, fight it out with bloggers and laughing at him at the same time. The man is known to possess a quirky sense of humour.


At December 30, 2005 3:54 PM, Blogger Jabberwock said...

“We (bloggers) often make the mistake of identifying one journalists's attitude with that of the entire MSM's”

Shrabonti, that may be true but the much bigger issue is that large chunks of mainstream media (including most people at senior levels) think of bloggers as some sort of homogenous group - as a “community” that is interested only in backslapping and group-hugging. Which is ludicrous. Let’s not forget who the underdogs are in this supposed bloggers-vs-MSM faceoff.

Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, no one has accused Outlook as an entity of being anti-blogging. If they were, they wouldn’t have published my piece and Amit’s in (more or less) the same form as they were submitted. And I know of people who work in the Outlook Group and are avid bloggers/blog-readers. (Ironically, Vivek is very much one of them himself - it’s another matter that it suits him to believe that the rest of us are one “community” while he’s the guy standing on the outside smirking at our self-indulgence.) Most people who were offended by what Vivek wrote recognise that those are his views, not his organisation’s.

At December 30, 2005 4:41 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

Jai, with all due respect, a lot of bloggers do get into the 'Oh, look, MSM is targetting us again' trap everytime someone writes something negative about blogging.

At December 31, 2005 9:08 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Shrabonti: Guilty as charged. A coupla years ago, but I do remember taking it personally.

At January 02, 2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous Saptak said...

You sound like the leader of the bloggers' union.

Do not instutionalize "bloggers".

An individual who blogs is most powerful when s/he is independent. As soon as you have bunched up a group of such individuals and labeled them "BLOGGERS", you have robbed them of all their power.

Don't you feel powerful?

At January 04, 2006 5:08 AM, Anonymous Saptak said...

I HAD TO run a few errands downtown, but I hesitated to go.

What if I ran into bloggers?

At January 04, 2006 5:08 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

Ok, Saptak, very clever. I know why you are doing this: grapes are sour etc. Ha ha. Very funny. Happy new year. May it be horrendous. Pffft.

P.S. Stop showing off newfound Americanism. 'Downtown' indeed! Till a few months back, it used to good old M G Road. Hunh!

At January 04, 2006 9:47 PM, Anonymous Saptak said...

This has nothing to do "newfound Americanism", it's all about this newfound scifi -

At January 05, 2006 12:29 AM, Blogger Tridib said...

Saptak, thanks for the link. It's really cool!

At January 08, 2006 1:01 AM, Anonymous Pantykhor said...

Do be kind enough to explain your terms, especially if you broadcast this into the greater netsphere. MSMs? In public health terminology we undertand that to be Men who have Sex with Men. Yup.

At January 09, 2006 9:18 PM, Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

MSM = Main Stream Media, with which entity many bloggers fancy themselves perpetually at war, p... urm.. whatever.

At January 10, 2006 12:09 AM, Blogger 4WD said...

I'm more MSM than BSM. You know, i think i know what MsM's problem with bloggers is.

A lot of msm (man that word sounds stupid) people think that bloggers take the easy way out. So, you know, you see all these blog people posting about really serious stuff, saying all these things, but they're just sitting at home, commenting. They;re not out there, getting the stories. (well, not most. Occasionally yea, but not really).

But what really ticks us off, is that bloggers can write about someone without taking that guy's version of the story. Unless a court has proven someone guilty, we try to not do it for the courts (of course, there are exceptions to that too).

If we're accusing a politician of doing something wring, we'll call and ask him whether he did.

Bloggers dont do that. For instance, a very very popular blog, recently accused a leading paper of stealing quotes from blogs. He didn't bother asking the journalist in question whether he actually stole. The truth, actually, was different.

What i'm trying to say, and could actually have said in 2 sentences, is that bloggers have no real sense of responsibility about what they say. They just say it.

by the way, T r vivek calls Dan Rather a blogger :) heh heh .


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