December 30, 2008

Are bloggers replacing real journalists?

- Nepalean

Flourishing blogs, diminishing newspaper count; are bloggers replacing real journalists? ।If we talk about Nepalese blogs, they just appeared yesterday. It is disappointing but true, most blogs even don't follow proper language let us not count their influence and credibility. While talking about credibility and responsibility, I just remembered one Nepalese blogger. He just appeared in Sajha Chautari and started his exotic news. We really worked hard to avoid pornographic items in sajha chautari thread so I informed him not to behave like that. He proudly answered he is a blogger and he blogs. He doesn't care what other people think. He is still blogging in with different content. By this kind of behavior and attitude we can certainly tell Nepalese blogs will be limited in the niche. But if we look into international blog influence, yes they are flourishing and many of the Pulitzer prize winner magazines are shutting their doors.

I read a shocking news during my break time today. One of the Pulitzer prize winner newspaper editor stated he wants newspaper as a Christmas present. Like digital camera displaced picture film, online news have stolen paper news reader. However many established newspaper are struggling to save themselves by exploring new techniques. Still paper magazines are in threat. If we talk about Nepalese online news portal, lets talk about It compiles news from various sources and provides instantly. Now it has started video news as well. It has become no. 1 online news portal which has more than twice the readers than kantipur and Gorkhapatra.

We can still find other blogs like united we blog, hamroblog and mysansar which are more like news portal than blogs. They have online readers almost equal to Nepalese media houses. There are other online news portal which carries more copied news than their own reporting. However they are flourishing everyday. Let not us forget two more media houses borned from splitted kantipur. Limited manpower, market and reader will be their biggest constraint and we will definitely hear either they will merge or disappear from the scene after a year or two. Still this is a proof real journalism rising. But online news site can cover every part of the world and obviously their market share will expand day by day. However vanishing of paper magazine make bloggers backbone weak. They will further head towards producing poor taste news. And obviously we will miss detailed news report in professional manner. This is my thought regarding bloggers Vs real journalist. Here is an article I read this afternoon who wants newspaper as Christmas present.
All I Wanted for Christmas Was a Newspaper
Newark, N.J.

When my colleague at the Newark Star-Ledger John Farmer started off in journalism more than five decades ago, things were very different. After covering a political event, he'd hop on the campaign bus, pull out a typewriter, and start banging out copy. As the bus would pull into a town, he'd ball up a finished page and toss it out the window. There a runner would scoop it up and rush it off to a telegraph station where it would be blasted back to the home office.

At the time, reporters thought this method was high-tech. Now, thanks to the Internet, a writer can file a story instantly from anywhere. It's incredibly convenient, but that same technology is killing old-fashioned newspapers. Some tell us that that's a good thing. I disagree and believe that the public will miss us once we're gone.

Mr. Farmer, who is now the Star-Ledger's editorial page editor, retold his experience of the old days a short while ago at a wake of sorts for departing colleagues. The paper has been losing money and might have had to shut its doors sometime early next year. So the drivers' and mailers' unions made contract concessions, and about 150 nonunion editorial staff took buyouts as part of an effort by the publisher to save the paper.

The Star-Ledger is among the 15 largest newspapers in America, and it circulates in some of the most prosperous suburbs of New York City. We are perhaps alone among the major papers in devoting extensive coverage to small-town news and sports. We routinely get scoops on what the Steinbrenners are thinking about the Yankees. And in 2005, the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for its sober coverage of Democrat Gov. Jim McGreevey's resignation after his admission to an adulterous affair with another man.

The problem is that printing a hard copy of a publication packed with solid, interesting reporting isn't a guarantee of economic success in the age of instant news. Blogger Glenn Reynolds of "Instapundit" fame seems to be pleased at this. In his book, "An Army of Davids," Mr. Reynolds heralds an era in which "[m]illions of Americans who were in awe of the punditocracy now realize that anyone can do this stuff."

No, they can't. Millions of American can't even pronounce "pundit," or spell it for that matter. On the Internet and on the other form of "alternative media," talk radio, a disliked pundit has roughly a 50-50 chance of being derided as a "pundint," if my eyes and ears are any indication.

The type of person who can't even keep track of the number of times the letter "N" appears in a two-syllable word is not the type of person who is going to offer great insight into complex issues. But the democratic urge expressed by Mr. Reynolds is not new. Someone is always heralding the rise of "the intellectual declaration of independence of the American people," as H.L. Mencken once put it.

In his 1920 essay "The National Letters," Mencken traced this sentiment back to the early days of our democracy. He noted how first Ralph Waldo Emerson and then Walt Whitman prophesized the rise of what Whitman termed "a class of native authors, literatuses, far different, far higher in grade than any yet known." Mencken was pessimistic about this prospect thanks to what he termed "the democratic distrust of whatever strikes beneath the prevailing platitudes."

I share that pessimism. Every time a new medium arises, a new group of avatars arises with it, assuring us of the wondrous effects it will produce for our democracy.

I encountered this back in the early 1970s in my communications classes at Rutgers. Cheap, portable video cameras had just been invented, and I was assured by the bearded professors and grad students that these cameras would lead to a rebirth of democracy. The citizenry would start recording public meetings and the result would be a revolution.

Now we're hearing the same thing about the blogosphere. "When enough bloggers take the leap, and start reporting on the statehouse, city council, courts, etc. firsthand, full-time, then the Big Media will take notice and the avalanche will begin," Mr. Reynolds quotes another blogger as saying. If this avalanche ever occurs, a lot of bloggers will be found gasping for breath under piles of pure ennui. There is nothing more tedious than a public meeting.

After I got out of Rutgers, I began as a reporter at a newspaper in Ocean County, N.J. If the Toms River Regional Board of Education had not offered free coffee, I fear that I might have been found the next day curled up on the floor in the back of the room like Rip Van Winkle. As it was, I only made it through the endless stream of resolutions and speeches by employing trance-inducing techniques learned in my youth during religion class at St. Joseph's school up the street.

The common thread here, whether the subject is foreign, national or local, is that the writer in question is performing a valuable task for the reader -- one that no sane man would perform for free. He is assembling what in the business world is termed the "executive summary." Anyone can duplicate a long and tedious report. And anyone can highlight one passage from that report and either praise or denounce it. But it takes both talent and willpower to analyze the report in its entirety and put it in a context comprehensible to the casual reader.

This highlights the real flaw in the thinking of those who herald the era of citizen journalism. They assume newspapers are going out of business because we aren't doing what we in fact do amazingly well, which is to quickly analyze and report on complex public issues. The real reason they're under pressure is much more mundane. The Internet can carry ads more cheaply, particularly help-wanted and automotive ads.

So if you want a car or a job, go to the Internet. But don't expect that Web site to hire somebody to sit through town-council meetings and explain to you why your taxes will be going up. Soon, newspapers won't be able to do it either.

Over the past few weeks, I've watched a parade of top-notch reporters leave the Star-Ledger for the last time. The old model for compensating journalists is as obsolete as the telegraph. If anyone out there in the blogosphere can tell me what the new model is, I will pronounce him the first genius I've ever encountered on the Internet.

(Mr. Mulshine is an opinion columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger)


Anonymous said...

यति!!!!!!!!!!!!लामो अग्रेजी !
अजिङर को जिउ जस्तो !
डिक्स्नेरी त छ साथ मा तर समय साथ मा छैन ! कुरा बुझ्नु भो ?

ठरकि दादा said...

Nepalian Ji!

Thanks for sharing this with us.

Though, unlimited and uncontrolled blogs and bloggers are emerging into existence, each day, at the same time, several blogs are 'dying' and numerous bloggers are also disappearing from the cyber space.

I personally feel that, journalists won't be replaced by bloggers, but it will make the journalist and paper news agencies to work hard and be competitive and raise their quality to be able to survive. And I take it very positively.

Anonymous said...

Indeed it is sad to know that many print house are about to die or merely surviving.
With so many things to choose, hear, read, watch people do not have much time to sit and read ( except some senior citizens) like in old days.
In the quest of being first in serving the news Medias often sideline the quality and presentation of news that used to be the Hallmark of Broadsheet newspaper.

Down sliding of economy is also one of the important reasons for newspapers to stop publishing.

Despite having well established networks and infrastructures these media houses are not generating enough revenue through advertisement. This is a direct result of severe economic condition that is affecting small business all over the world.

On the other hand for very long media house are not doing much to think new on imposing threat through internet.
Most of the media houses only keep themselves in opening one webpage and thinking that will be enough.
Either because of easiness or a rebellious nature of youth Media houses are struggling in establishing the brand loyalty among them.

I hope all these struggling news organizations will be able to survive the hard time and even generations after us will enjoy the tradition established hundred of years ago.

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