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Are bloggers failed writers and half-wits or for professional journalism, is this the pits?

October 3, 2006

Today(10/3,2006), under the heading “Failed writers and half-wits populate the blogoshpere“, Shobhan Saxena has many disparaging things to write about bloggers in “The Times of India ” :-

Net result:Failed writers and half wits populate the blogosphere

It is surprising that there is not one positive thing mentioned about bloggers or the blogosphere( Extracts from the article in Italics).:-

“Everyone has the right to express an opinion but a lot of people confuse it with meaningless fuming and ranting. Everyone has the right to be stupid but some people abuse the privilege”

I am no professional writer but having written sporadically for The Times of India(seven small write-ups; coincidentally one is under “Mind,body,spirit and you ” today itself)and a couple of reputed magazines(four write-ups), I have to concede that when you work with professionals, it improves your focus tremendously and enables you to separate the wheat from the chaff in content. I am grateful to all my Journalist gurus for that more than anything else. However, to consider focus more important than the ideas is clearly putting the cart before the horse;what are you going to focus if the ideas iself are not there and ideas come from the unconscious mind- nobody has patent rights on them. In this context, being formally qualified can actually be a liability because it builds up the ego which is the biggest impediment to cretative ideas.

What I feel is that a professional should be circumspect in using certain words and adjectives( like “stupid” above) with amateurs in particular. Sometimes I feel that that the article written by Saxena is the kind of article I used to write before I interacted with journalist professionals(my association with all of them has been pleasent) – a one sided diatribe without perspective with expressions beginning with the title itself best avoided .

The whole tenor of the article is such that one wonders at the motives behind using certain expressions and statements such as :-

” A lot of people are sick of being nobody. A lot of people’s lives have been reduced to inconsequential chatter with inconsequential friends. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions and their lives are a second hand mimicry of others’ lives.”

This could be true to a significant extent but “inconsequential friends” is a highly objectionable expression because no human being is inconsequential. Some bloggers may have opinions that are more insightful if not original than that of a journalist and some of them may have genuine first hand experiences to share from their own lives which maybe far more interesting at times than what a journo has to say. There is no point writing about “inconsequential chatter “ but psychiatrists advocate social outlets as a means of overcoming mental and emotional problems and blogging serves as a good one. In fact writing is viewed as a kind of catharsis in that context.

Some months ago, on my other blog, I had spoken about the urge to write as a genuine need for some people- While stating that some famous writers-Horis-karl Huysmans, Henry Miller , Herman Melville, Sir Arthur Conann Doyle, Anthony Trollope ,Anton Chekov , Somerset Maugham all lived dual lives(as writers and their other occupation) , this post gives Indian examples of people from different occupations who were very keen to write. One person explains that “It is not so much about the inner need to be a writer as an inner need to write.” Every journalist may not become a good writer or vice-versa but if people from other occupations can succeed as writers, there is no reason why some can’t succeed as Journalists as well.:-

Schizophrenic existence of budding writers.

That apart there is a saying, “ I write to know what I think”. The so called inconsequential chatter becomes very consequential when one starts writing and exchanges views. Writing is actually a very good way to clarify your thoughts and even be centered..

There is then no justification for making statements in the article like:-

They think they have something to say. They want to be read and heard and seen”.

Some of them may actually have something to say. There is nothing wrong in being wanting to be heard and seen if you have the talent for it. One of India’s foremost filmstars said in an interview ” It takes a show off to be a show on”. I read about one writer who used to sing and dance on the roof to attract attnetion;what could he do? There was no blogging in his time. Isn’t blogging one of the most powerful means of self expression? During my nomadic excursions through the blogosphere, the creativity that I have come across at times is mind boggling. For instance, some of the cooking blogs- the pictures and the content is so good that this seems nothing but a labor of love since they are not being paid for it. They appear like professional cooking websites rather than personal blogs.

What are programs like “Nach Baliye” and “Indian idols” or for that matter “Laughter Challenge” doing? There are several sides to a human being’s personality and the chupa rustams(latent talent) in them comes out only when there is a transparent platform. One of the judges in the musical show “Indian Idols” wrote in an article how much new talent was emerging and how it was giving the established singers a run for their money. Similarly, blogging is a transparent platform for writers and it is only a matter of time before the hidden “Khushwant Singhs and Shobha Des” emerge. Why should they not be seen and heard.?

Digressing a little, I would like to say that excellence in any field does not necessarily have to be a corollary of formal qualifications. Neither Amitabh Bachchan nor Rajnikanth are formally trained actors but have been long enduring superstars. Dhirubhai Ambani was not a naturally trained lateral thinker(to the best of my knowledge) but his out of the box thinking was brilliant. Japan, as a country did not have a formal business school for a long time but during that period, that tiny country gave the Americans a run for their money. In the recent Movie “Krishh”, Naseeruddin Shah while complimenting Hrithik Roshan’s abilities tells him ” Others are trained but you are gifted” Therefore a gifted writer though not formally qualified maybe more than match for a journalist where sheer writing skill is concerned.

Elsewhere, it is written that “it looks like the revenge of the amateur who dreams of becoming a professional. And that’s a cause for concern”. At another place it is given ;” The pace at which the blogoshpere is getting cramped with half wits, religious maniacs, failed writers, sociopaths and cold blooded killers is scary” . I feel that this is a one sided view. One wonders whether the people described above are the rule or the exception. Is that scary or is something else scary?

Why should “dreaming of being a professional” be a cause for concern? It happens in the management world all the time. If a company in the unorganized sector like Nirma can take on a giant like Hindustan lever, what is so sacrosanct about Journalism? Management history is replete with stories of how lean and mean small companies(mouse) gave the established companies(Elephants) a run for their money. It seems more of a nightmare for the professionals – a fear of competition from unknown quarters.

Some formally qualified journalists may have the natural ability to excel in other fields as well and similarly some people in other fields maybe more gifted writers. To throw light exclusively on the negatives in the blogoshpere is an article without perspective in my view.

The expression “failed writers” or “Nobody” can be quite deceptive. The renkowned Hindi writer, Muinshi Premchand and even the great Shakespeare got posthumous recognition years after they died. Were they failed writers or the audience failed to give them their due? Who knows what could have happened had blogging been around to showcase their skills? Why discourage budding Sakespeares and Premchands with such articles ? Talking of commercial success, Govinda maybe far more commercially successful than a Naseerudin Shah but it is the latter who is deemed brilliant. Who decides success or failure and on what criteria?

“Their(bloggers) aspirations are blocked by the obnoxious monster called the editor and their high voltage facts mixed with slam dunk fiction with a lot of typos and commas and semi-colons in the wrong places, go down a drain called the editorial process”.

One cannot deny the importance of the right punctuation but the most important thing in writing is creative ideas and expression and to give undue importance to commas and full stops would be missing the wood for the trees The book literary humor puts things in the right perspective ,”Commas and full stops are a convenience rather than an integral part of the language; its nuts and bolts rather than girders. Some very eminent writers have been careless in this respect- Somerset Maugham could not handle commas, Jane Austen got her quotation marks in a twist; Geroge Orwell hated semicolons so much that he wrote an entire novel without any. Gertrude Stein ignored punctuation. “

Similarly, the book states that many writers of the most elegant prose have been shoddy spellers- John Cheever, Ezra Pound, Scott Fitzgerald etc. I am not suggesting that this is excusable but more emphasis should be on expressive ability which comes from the depths of the soul:-

“Of all the arts in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well”

In the book “Editors on editing”, eminent editor David Davidar says ” The writer is the artist and editor the craftsman; the editor must never lose sight of this fact.” Elsewhere, it is given that “Editors must reconcile themselves to anonymity, no matter how great their contribution to a text.” This clearly puts the relationship in proper perspective. The blogosphere may have good writers all of whom need not go down the drain. On the other hand, many successful editors may have “gone down the drain” in the writing process or maybe some excelled at both. George Bernard shaw said once “Those who can, do. else they teach.” It was further expounded by Steve Norbdy :-

Those who can do.
Those who can’t teach.
Those who can’t teach train teachers.
Those who can’t train teachers write teacher training textbooks..

Some editors may not be good writers but very good editors. Why give over importance to the editorial process? Sometimes, a free for all write up can be more charming and cute like the raw talent of a natural cricketer like Mahendra singh Dhoni for instance.

“Blogs are an online stream of consciousness written by people who believe that they are under orders form someone to change the world”. Blogging and websites are the only mass communication tools directly in the hands of the individual. Some of the greatest leaders in history like Lenin for instance orchestrated their movements from abroad. Gandhiji in his autobiography expresses surprise at being so popular in India for the work that he did in South Africa. Had blogging been around at that time, it would definitely have facilitated their work. Ghandhiji was a lawyer but has been described as modern India’s greatest writer and editor in “Editors on Editing” and complimented on his mass communication skills by no less a man than Alyque Padamsee, former chairman of Lintas. Who knows what else he could have achieved with a mass media tool like blogging directly under his control?

“Bloggers claim in their hifalutin tones that they want to give a voice to the voiceless and replace the papers with their journalism. It sounds good but look at the way they are doing it. Their vision is apocalyptic and their language is acidic. “ This maybe true in some cases but all bloggers are not like that. Newspapers have been an enduring institution and even satellite television has not been able to replace them. Why be vary of the poor little blogger? Some elements from the media have been criticized for sensationalization but that does not imply that the entire mainstream media is irresponsible.

In my view, bloggers and the mainstream media can share a symbiotic relationship in the spirit of you scratch my back and I scratch yours but not in a derogatory sense. In his book “Differentiate or Die”, the author Jack Trout states how essential it is for every established brand to continue to differentiate itself. National and international issues are well reported and hotly debated and there is not much scope of differentiation there. In a country like India where the judicial system is perceived as “ineffective”, local issues being highlighted can go a long way in helping the affected party( the way it helped Jesicca lall) and also help the mainstream media differentiate itself which is where bloggers come in as the media cannot reach everywhere.

This reminds me of a scene from the famous “Yeh Dosti” song from movie “Sholay” where the side car attached to the motorcycle separates from the main body and then after straying in the wilderness merges with the main body on the main road.There maybe separate actions(bloggers and journalists) on certain issues , go it alone on certain issues and even joint action on certain issues. This may seem far fetched now just as a 24 hour news channel was deemed ridiculous when first introduced Who knows how a medium may evolve in the future? Some professional journalists have spoken in favor of “citizen journalism”. The journalist gives news( at most times), the blogger gives views. Where is the conflict?

Even the song itself is not exactly a misplaced expression of what the relationship between bloggers and Journalists could be:-

The article states correctly that Learning and mastering good journalism is tough. You learn it is libraries, on flooded streets, in front of a rioting mob, in the middle of ceasefire between the milita and the military,in war trenches, in the corridors of power and in the hamlets of deprivation. Sometimes, a reporter walks for miles in an area ravaged by a tsunami to get one quote from the man hanging on to a tree for a week. “ This is wonderfully written and very correct and Journalists and Journalism should be respected for that but then the Journalist should also respect bloggers right to self expression instead of only being highly and blindly critical. It would not be out of place to mention here that Journalism is no rocket science, impregnable to outside perspectives.

The article continues ,”Bloggers don’t worry about such inane things. They can learn history and politics from google. They can get their facts from newspapers and slam them with their half baked opinions”

That is exactly what I am doing at the moment but whether the opinions are half baked or not again is a matter of opinion. Everybody does not have to have hands-on experience. Some people do well as financial investors. Can you tell them ” You must run companies and not merely invest in them”

Rather than use such expressions, Journalists should look at bloggers with a big brotherly attitude. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has given a lot of credit for his success to encouragement by his elder brother,Ajit when he started playing cricket. Looking at the results, we hardly have much to complain out. To only see the negative side of a little brother is not correct- Shobhan, yeh aapko shobha nahin deta.

Now a giggly little, sweet little, little baby brother will only use google because he can hardly be expected to face the challanges faced by a formally trained big brother. Just the way the cute antics of an innocent child or the high sounding words of a management trainee(Fresh MBA) amuse , journalists as big brothers could pull the cheeks of us tiny little fellas and say “Kuchi kuchi koo” or “Gili gli gili” instead of some of the condescending, reprimanding and nagging wife kind of expressions used in the article.

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53 comments

  1. Blogging is a great tool to exchange ideas and share thoughts, and importantly, its one of the few democratic tools that enable any online user to voice his/her opinion about anything and everything. This liberty is usually absent in bradcast and print media, where policies rule and not individual interests.

    Its response time is usually much quicker then conventional media journalism.

    Of course there can be many mediocre examples of blogging, but lets not forget – Blogging evolved in 1997 and its almost 9 years old as of now, whereas journalism has existed since almost 2 centuries. Newie bloggers do lack maturity, but as time goes by, blog users will definately change their approach and we will soon see that blogs will exist as a powerful and parallel source information like that of todays ‘journalism’.

    Conventional journalism is like a dinosours – big, bulky strong and ruling the world while blogging is like a nimble footed human in early days of development. If it was only size and strength that would make the difference, then today only donosours would have been ruling Mother Earth. However, history shows otherwise. Humans adapted and adjusted, so they are existing today. So dinosours are found only in museums and textbooks.

    If conventional journalism dosent adjust itself to todays blogging, then I am afraid to say this – ‘History will repeat itself…’


  2. My point is that – Lets know each other more and learn to exist peacefully. Ultimately its the respectice audience who is going to decide the ultimate choice.


  3. Not everybody wants to be a journalist, but to say that only journalists can express opinions is nonsensical. If you look at a market like the US or Europe, a lot of actual investigative work / opinion forming is happening from bloggers.
    And the flip side being that not every journalist is a pleasure to read, I have read some highly opinionated ones who believe that they need to express their opinions rather than report the news, and others who I just plain avoid because of their language not exactly being easy to read.
    If you don’t like how somebody writes, ignore, but to disparage is not a very healthy sign.
    A slightly misquoted quote from Volatire: “I may not like what you say, but I will fight to the death to save your right to say it.”


  4. There are many theories, mindset and ways to blog from personal to Online journalist etc .
    On the name of freedom to blog. So either blog, not to blog-Just read. Why fight or feel jealous.

    I feel if someone have talents for writing (Blogging) it will comeup, either he is hardcore programmer or an entrepreneur.
    It’s the way you blog, the way you present it that makes you popular.


  5. Hi Hiren,

    Well its true many writers hate bloggers one main reason is they are “late on the party” when its come to techie things and online writting. Bloggers always update their blogs on regular basis which attract people to come on their blogs. Now these writers are slowly understanding that Blogging is coming into real main stream media thats one more reason I could see writers viewing them with suspicion, and in some cases, outright hostility. Many bloggers dont write much as they only write to the point things no political or diplomatic way, which loads of people love it. I dont see blooging world as writers world to be honest,I visit blog to see what people are talking about,What they are saying on certain topics. A lot of writers are disillusioned and unhappy with the Internet. It’s no surprise to me writers aren’t entirely accepting of something that seems like it will be every bit as much work for questionable returns.


  6. Why does blogging have to be connected or compared to journalism? Why not see it as a brand new genre in the making!

    The following was perhaps one of the first few posts on my blog in early 2005, and though I most definitely have new add-ons, but the ideas expressed in this blog I still hold as true:

    WHY BLOG?
    Everyones carries a story and wants to share it. But how public is he willing to go? That’s the deciding question for a prospective blogger. Some of us are born narcicissts, and a blog serves as an ideal medium; a one sided perspective; a unilateral presentation; feedbacks only if you so wish. Then there are those who believe they are untapped, usually unpublished, (not for lack of trying though) writers and see blogging as balm for shattered epistolary aspirations. Finally there are those of us whose loneliness has gotten to them, and the blog becomes their outpouring.

    I’m still trying to figure my reasons for blogging.


  7. Its quite obvious that the writer felt threatened enough by the rapidly growing popularity of bloggers and the blogosphere to be moved to write such dribble.

    If we have a right to express ourselves, then it is just that – a right. I fail to understand how the “journalist” manages to confuse a right with a privilege. A right is an option, bestowed upon us by the Constitution, that we can choose to exercise at any time. A privilege is reading the works of literary geniuses, in order to attain some level of enlightenment and/or improve our communication skills.

    Saxena seems to the same “half-wit” that he has tried to pass off as bloggers in his piece. It is a cowardly act to use a pedestal provided by an established institution like the ToI and spout pure and utter rubbish, while us bloggers have to create our own niche and style and ensure that our content is of the highest standard in order to maintain our readership. After all the editor and the marketing team at ToI are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that readers keep coming back, not Saxena.

    If the intention was to simply stir debate, then the writer has utilised an extremely cheap and ill-judged technique. However, I firmly believe that his writing has more to do with the writer’s own demons getting the better of him, as opposed to any genuine intention to initiate informed dialogue.


  8. Interesting read!

    **A lot of people are sick of being nobody.

    Alot of ppl who dun get ‘heard’ in real life want to express and be heard. And this is the best medium. I think blogging rules and it helps let of steam :) It also teaches all of us to reach out to each other and learn from one another. It’s a priceless experience.

    Keshi.


  9. The writer seems to be really jealous of the popularity of bloggers. Nobody is forcing anybody to read their blogs and its just an outlet for ppl to express their opinions and let their creative juices flow. And the icing on the cake is that its all free.


  10. there is a lot of sincerity in the blogworld.. that cannot be ignored..


  11. Shobhan Saxena ki aise ki taisee!

    Hiren bhai, awesome post but I have a feeling you restrained yourself while venting your thoughts about Saxena’s article or you trying to behave as a journalist and not as a blogger?


  12. I may not be a great writer but blogging has helped me immensely and I am not going to give it up easily.I found your views reasonably balanced.Saxena is entitled to his opinion.Entirely his pleasure.


  13. Interesting read! What i don’t understand is that why should people critisize anything and everything? If someone doesn’t like blogging, they are free to ignore it! why redicule others who are doing it!
    These days journalism has been given too much in the name of freedom! Just because you have to come up with an article which should be as hot as possible.. people write about anything and everything!
    Leave the blog world alone! Yes we are not fantastic writers.. but then! This is not our profession.. we just blog to out our feelings.. like writing a dairy! Is every dairy writer a “failed-writer” :)?


  14. Hi Buddy,

    Just came to check any updates..hope you keeping well..and thanks alot for commenting on my blog. Will bounce back again later..


  15. How many of you think this guy’s job is threatened by bloggers?

    http://kshitijl.blogspot.com/2006/10/shobhan-saxena-other-shoes-part-ii.html


  16. I blog for myself. And I am not an aspiring journalist, I never was. And I will not stop blogging even if people say that I am the most stupid writer in the world. Coz, its my space and I can write whatever I like, and I am not forcing anyone to read it.
    The whole point of comparing journalism with blogging is wrong, coz the target audience of most blogs is family and friends of the blogger (and few others maybe).
    I don’t even find it worthwhile to read that whole article by shoban.


  17. “Failed writers and half-wits populate the blogoshpere“

    Oops …”failed writers”…who wants to show their literary skills here…looks like the writer is a failed blogger…heh!! if she wants to look for some write-ups Hiren plz communicate to her THIS ..

    Hiren i am a final yr engnn student…writing fiction is my hobby…and i fing the blogosphere to be the best medium to put up my write-ups..plz do comment on the above link..

    -aby


  18. I think this is just pure jealousy of bloggers for stating something as silly as this. Bloggin is just a gr8 tool!


  19. Thanks for visiting my blog and the comments you put down. You have raised a very valid point in your posting.

    To me, blogs are a nascent medium of expression and communication. Right now it is just evolving and evolving fast. Since it is a free medium with no moderation, one must expect the problems associated with such a dispensation.

    An unmoderated medium too has its advantages. And, the right way of looking at blogs will be to harness the positives of the medium rather than lament about the pitfalls. This is a medium that must be encouraged and its potential made full use of.


  20. Hello Hiren. To be frank I am stunned after reading this article. I dunno why so much of blog bashing? If one guys who writes a blog opens fire in a school campus, how can some one make a sweeping statement like “bloggers are writing murders”.

    Blogs are not aimed at replacing Journalism, newspapers or T.V. they just serve as a form of citizen journalism, which is only a part of blogosphere.

    While some of it is really true (i.e. not exaggerated), the way of expression and tone of the writer is disturbing. If a parent were to read this article, they might prevent their kid from writing a blog or surfing blogs.

    I am sure that there are many good blogs out there.


  21. We can also say that – Are ‘writers’ failed ‘bloggers’ and half-wits or for professional journalism, is this the pits?


  22. I said earliar – There is a relatively inexperienced group who is trying to seek opportunities of communicating with the world through blogging. Its natural that some of them can go wrong at times. (Who dosent?).

    On the other hand, just try watching the private news channels that are aired in India. My godness, I often feel that this is an extreme hype. A very immature display of half baked newsmakers. Those newsreaders would have got a good carrer in modelling. But its so unfortunate of us that we just keep quite and let those idiotic news and pathetic stories get hammared on us.

    (I am not speaking of govt run Doordarshan. Those poor Doordarshan blokes have got no option but to tell and display what the current ruling party wants them to tell..On top of that, it seems theres often a shortage of good looking faces on DD, although I did manage to see some, but its very rare, as I seldomly watch DD and TV.)

    But when we are on the net, I think that modern tools like podcasting, blogging, videoblogging, etc are definately more sophisticated and useful. Just we need to have cheaper broadband in India.


  23. Conventional newspaper are funded by big corporate groups who have got contacts with the ruling partys. So even if a young and dashing journalist tries to unviel he reality, its many times termed as a ‘plot’ against ruling party by ‘opposition’ or the chief editor tells it – Make sure that you arent too much tough on them.

    Not all newspapers have this policy, but we cannot say that the peer pressure isent there.

    I dont think that normal blogging has these kind of pressure, at least in India. But slowly and surely, political blogging will become common in India, and soon we will see ‘sponsered’ blogging. Its the money that makes the difference.


  24. Conventional newspapers have their own ownership and editorial influences. A lot of times the news they give is influenced by these factors, in addition, they will also try and give opinion couched as news.
    Blogging is still a nascent medium, but bloggers can slowly gain influence and crytallise public opinion


  25. @Harshad- Let’s hope Journalism and blogging go hand in hand.
    @Harshad – True. Proof of the pudding is in the eating
    @Ashsih- You are right. Good Quote
    @Paavani- Blogging will bring out the right talent
    @Ek Awaaz- Writers should use blogging instead of being against it.
    @ I,me, My- Blogging can be a very good outlet.
    @ The Enigma- It does seem that Saxena is apprehensive.
    @ Keshi- How true- priceless experience indeed]
    @ Suji- Saxena is not only seems jealous but scared as well.
    @ anu – True. The positive side has not been shown at all.
    @ PSV- Confrontation does not lead anywhere.


  26. @ Padma- Blogging has helped me immensly too
    @ Shark- To make it “hot”, it seems bloggers have been targeted.
    @ Ek awaaz- Ek awaaz do baar- Thanks to you too.
    @ Sanjay Goel- Right you are. The article is not worth reading really.
    @ Abhishek- You are right, Abhishek.
    @ Has to be me- Well, to make things hot Journalists use something that has to sell.
    @ Pradeep Nair- You are like a breath of fresh air as a professional Journalist.
    @ stubbfanatic- The writer has not shown the positives of blogoshperhe at all.
    @ Harshad- How True
    @ Harshad – With cheaper broadband, there would be better profliferation
    @ Ashish- How right you are. Let’s hope the medium grows.


  27. @Ek Awaaz- Writers should use blogging instead of being against it.

    Well I hope the same Hiren:)


  28. Its really a fantastic article. I realy enjoyed reading it, By the way thanks for reading and writing a comment on my post. please continue to read it and write your comments. It will be highely helpful for a new blogger like me.


  29. Hi Hiren,had a good reading. You have given a pleasing and convincing reply to an acidic report on blogs. As Sanjey has said its not worth reading and some aberrations like this do appears.


  30. the likes of Saxena dont understand the world has moved on from the older web version to the web 2.0 where the real mantra is the power of collaboration and sharing. the morons like him can only think that the blogs are only meant for writers like him!! basically, the oneway journalism is now under scanner and that’s the real worry for these guys.


  31. very interesting topic to analyze. You are right in your opinion. Its just that conventional journalism is being attacked by blogging, which makes him upset.
    I am tempted to analyse his situation on my blog :-)
    Thanks for bringin this up.


  32. Dear Hiren,

    Hope you keeping well, I had emailed you on your gmail account. Shout what ever you want to know:)


  33. [...] A fellow blogger picked up this story from TimesOfIndia. He analysed the writer’s criticism towards bloggers(most of them) around the world, who according to him, are people with biased and stolen opinions about anything and everything. Thankfully, he did praise 4-5 noted bloggers in the end. The original blog is here. [...]


  34. Oh God, Hiren, you have done such a detailed job of bashing Shobhan Saxena here.

    Poor guy, if he had written things in a bit balanced tone, we wouldn’t be so excited about his article. But then, if he hadn’t written it the way he did, most of us wouldn’t have bothered to read that article in the first place.

    Bloggers or journalists – looks like everyone tries the “extreme opinion sells” trick.


  35. comparing blogging to conventional media does not leadn to anywhere. yes blogger want to be heard, to be read and they are not proffesional writer, they just divulge their thought whenever they get time. they are not liable to anyone and not write to please anyone. they just want to write so they write.
    whats shobhan has concluded in his article is looking blooging through conventional eye view.
    copletly agree with you that, important thing in writing is creative ideas and expression and to give undue importance to commas and full stops would be missing the wood for the trees The book literary humor puts things in the right perspective ,”Commas and full stops are a convenience rather than an integral part of the language; its nuts and bolts rather than girders
    i think that in blogging blogger dont intrude in your home like newspaper.its the issue of changing media persepective , Radio was once synonmus for News, intellectual THoughts no has now more entertainment value than informative. for newspaper which gives gossip and entretainment priotities are taboloid and TOI as national daily, fast changing into one.
    just see the sports page where they cover 90% of space with image only. filling space is seems only objective they have.


  36. Hiren,
    Very well written article. Is this the article you were referring to when you commented on my blog?

    I would say it is still very polite :)


  37. The journalists who are suffering from fear psychosis are out to denigrate Bloggers in general. Let the human intelligence choose the better of newspapers and blogs. Unfortunately, quite a few Bloggers quote extensively from newspapers in posts with very little writing of their own to increase the number of posts and hits. Such Bloggers unwittingly or otherwise give journalists enough ammunition to fire at Bloggers.


  38. Shobhan saxena is tryong to advertise himself. We dont need to pay attention to what rubbish he says or will say.

    Infact, before reading this post, I didnt even know who this saxena bloke is and what does he do to earn his bread and butter… ;-)

    So, ignore him and blog in peace. :-D


  39. hmmm…nice post…u hav heard tat song…kuch to log kaheinge logoon ka kaam hai kehna…


  40. Another interesting article by you Hiren :-)Though you’ve pretty much summed up the whole idea,I would like to add my bit, about what I liked in one of the articles that I recently read –

    1)”Bloggers can be likened to participatory journalists. A blog is an easily accessible platform written by average people in society, not the elite mass media. Thus, opportunity for dissent and alternative viewpoints flourishes in blogs
    The context blogs bring, some bloggers argue, fills the void the mass media left wide open by only providing the opinions of politicians and the powerful special interests backing them”

    And importantly

    “Bloggers rely on mass media and journalists to cover faraway events that bloggers want to comment on and analyze.”

    So,mass media and journalism might most of the times,be confined to just reporting,whereas blogging is more about the analysis of the information collected by the media.


  41. @Ekawaaz- I agree with you
    @subramani D- Best of luck with your new blog
    @karthik- I agree with you
    @surfryder- They are worried all right
    @blogindia- He seems to be highly upset all right
    @ek awaaz- Thank you
    @Somewhere, a small start- Thanks for mentioning me in your post
    @silkboard- Shobhan asked for it.
    @shubhankar-I have heard about TOI elsewhere
    @Polite Indian- Yes. Thanks
    @Satish- Journalists seem perplexed all right
    @Harshad- He is best ignored
    @Harshita- Thanks. The song you are recommending fits even better.
    @Manish- Blogging is more about views and Journalism about news


  42. Blogging has done more good than harm all the time..
    It doesnt warrant the kind of criticism as written in the paper.


  43. SSS…. Stupid Shobhan Saxena as simple as that who can’t understand the blog world. Bloggers are not writers… journalists… they are normal people who live in the blog world :)


  44. Hello Hiren!

    You have nicely countered and repaid him back. I wonder, instead of Saxena, your article should be posted as what you have said is soo true.

    I am happy to add a few happening things to consolidate your argument in defence of relevance of Blog to News and Electronic media.

    1. Electronic media widely reported the various bloggers meets in India.
    2. Certain channels pick up issues from blog sites to fill up slots
    3. Some of the publishers and newspapers have tied up with blogging sites to select best articles in Fiction, current affairs and declare prizes.
    4. Amazon.com has tied up with one blog site to screen stories for online selling.
    5. One popular blogger in another site has started conducting monthly Poetry/ Fiction contest and sending prize to top three.
    6. Some publishers have selected certain blogger diary for publication as a book

    Finally, I am reading newspapers for 38 years and watching electronic media for 25 years but still my GK on many burning issues were not perfect till I actively became a blogger in August 2006.

    Earlier, I would have bought a second newspaper to gather some more knowledge on any other theme. Now I don’t need that. Why only google, there are so much of link sites and reference material available on net and in many bloggers’ articles that now I can confidently speak with authority on many issues. That gives a bad signal for the future of newspaper industry and the writers who are selected on many occasion for the position they hold or the degree that they carry.

    1.


  45. Hi Hiren,

    Blogging is about expressing oneself. If someone thinks that we are trying to be journalists or someone like that then they are totally mistaken! Journalism though isn’t rocket science. A person with a little bit of common sense (not mandatory) and good english can always be a good journalist!

    But to be a good blogger you need to know how to create a blog and post on it! That’s all! :) :) :)


  46. Excellent, insightful article!


  47. Great article hiren. You will get thousands to second you on your reactions to the article. All I can say is it was very spineless of the writer to have come up with such an article.


  48. Perhaps Shobhan Saxena should read that article of his again.
    Maybe then he will realise that he just wrote about himself.


  49. shobhan has clearly missed the point.. everyone has a story to tell.. otherwise a five point someone wud never have been published.. he must get his facts in place.. during the mumbai floods, it were the blogs which brought the victims n their kith n kin closer..i was rejected a journalism seat in acj on the lack of gift of gab.. and there might be many more like me.. so, just bcos a motley group of 11 people- call it as interview panel- have rejected me does not render me useless as a print journalist.. i blog with passion n vigour and lament at the panel which has rejected me.. anyway, the newspapers distort the facts.. and since when have indian newspapers cared for forensic details.. reuters provides them.. so mr.sobhan saxena, GET A LIFE !!


  50. i really liked your work…n hve a fair idea ..of the topic ..n its immense relevance..n i happen to write on similar..subjects….n various similar topics….so u may visit..
    http://www.cerebration123@blogspot.com


  51. Shobha Saxena is the person we should be scared of and not the kind of people blogging. She has written a one sided diatribe against bloggers. I would’ve expected a columnist of a major newspaper to have given a balanced view of the whole blogger issue. There are millions of people blogging and there has to be something to it that so many have taken to it. She seems to have ignored the positive aspects of blogging. But then I know she is entitled to her views and opinions and I wont call her or people like her names for holding views different from mine


  52. Blogging is not meant to even become close to professional journalism. Blogging is an alternative and unique format in the same way that journalism is. Bloggers are people with opinions and any good journalist should know the value of opinion.

    The author of this article is obviously oblivious to the wonderful rich content that blogs can hold. They are diaries of people with opinions or a story to tell, they are not ‘wannabes’ or ‘failed’ in any respect, they are writers in their own right.


  53. Good site. Thank you.



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