The Gritty Part: Locally speaking, I am a global citizen, and globally, I am a local.
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Pretend you are the layman who has always been counted into numerous statistics about such topics as media rating, social influence of mass media, blogging, Is Facebook eating Google, etc. Now try to think on the reasons about why you would go for a blog rather than a newspaper or a television channel for the information on any particular data, scene, event, movement, and the like.
You see, this ordinary person’s mind that you have got is a really useful property. Some even exchange it for other propositions and material advantage. Rating is one such thing. Most of the news channels and print papers are gluttonous for audience rating on their programmes. Open a media rating service, distribute stars, and you will be a millionaire in days. Not that being the lord of millions of rupees is a bad job. You are not getting my point. Harmless as it is, my article, does not valorize Communism at all. Not that Communism is all about wealth, alone. It is simply that you did not get the point. But you are not alone in this state of confusion; a lot of people are with you, especially people from the news media, who proclaim themselves as ‘the mainstream’.
Here come the end-days of mainstream media in Kerala. Speaking globally, local media is slowly gliding towards its own demise. When I said local media, do not misunderstand it as only pertaining to Telly-talkers or newspapers. Include online mainstream too. The problem, however, is not in the idea that these guys work mainstream. The problem is in the collective blindness they have grown towards real issues that concern ‘you’. (Remember, you pretended being a common man.)
This grand tragedy is the result of a blind quest to achieve your (Common man’s) rating. In order to sustain a stable and shining media ranking or page view statistics, some of them are stuffing their valuable time slots with morally, socially and psychologically worthless contents. The common man, you, feels the need for a reliable media replacement. Blogs are thus, a very impressive option. Three reasons blogs are favoured by the common person are;
Although individually managed and written, the content in blogs are much more reliable than any newspaper or television channel working in Kerala, especially in issues that involve a major political party or community. Most of the main stream news media in Kerala, work for one or the other political party or casteist organization. This makes them greatly vulnerable against scams and other issues involving their own leaders and members. Social justice, in such cases is compromised for organizational gain and image building. In blogs, however, one can find a better inclination towards reliability. In some cases, if one published unreliable matter, the individual behind the blog has to face the consequences oneself. In a news channel or a newspaper, though, even if a news item qualifies to be wrong or an outright lie, the organization and its highly paid lawyers can save them from any charges of misleading the population or libel. Direct individual risks prevent bloggers from publishing wrong information or content that misleads other individuals.
In newspapers or television channels, one is listening to the plastic faces of those news readers or the invisible writer, who churns out stock sentences and expressions in order to feed the user with ‘information’. The reliability of the information that appears in the main stream mass media types is already doubtful, because of their need to create and own information. The personal connection you can experience with bloggers is a remarkable and touching experience while reading blogs. This adds to the reliability of the content. (Oops, did it sound like lifted from a school essay?)
You are Valued.
Try this; put a word or group of words in the comment box you see below any of the blogs you read. You will, in return, receive a heartwarming reply or thanksgiving. Whatever, you get back from the blogger, you won’t regret. They value your words and support individually. The mainstream media no longer care for user comments on their sites. The proof for this lies in the fact that none of the comments one posts in those super-stream media outlets would be noticed by their editors. We never find a reply for our comment from the editorial staff. (Unless, when you get exceptionally lucky.) Valued customer is a cliché that has little or no value any more among the established media. They always ask for reader or viewer feedback, but how many of you received a response back from them?
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The main stream media in Kerala has transformed into a kinky joke. They always need big stories, so every day, they find one. When they cannot find one, they cook one up. Regardless of the source or credibility, lately, most of the news items that appear in mass media in Kerala involve sex, politics and money. In order to exhibit proof they transmit copulation scenes involving political leaders.
Whether political leaders are having sex or ordinary men, watching it in TV with your family, in the regular news bulletin, disturbs your ethical and moral sense. It is not just with you, the individual, but also with the common man, you. Since I have been with you in pretending a common man, the revulsion is watching it with family is worse with me too. I have already abandoned Malayalam news channels. The newspapers in Kerala were already out of my regular reading list. What next? Today it’s me who abandoned them, tomorrow you, the day after tomorrow?
Speaking locally, the media degradation is a global phenomenon. Therefore, the three reasons people go for blogs too is internationally valid. This is an alarm call for the big brothers in news media. Indie-media may be taking its first baby walk, but soon, they will gain a firm ground. (Ayyo, I sound like a geek in his class-essay!)