Archive for February 7th, 2008

When AB baby’s cold becomes hot news

7 February 2008

The unseen hand of Rupert Murdoch in skewing the vision of news television in India, especially in the vital Hindi space, is a subject no media analyst, critic or observer has yet turned her spotlight on. Thanks to the headway made by the execrable output of Star News, news channel after Hindi news channel, has taken the same low, tabloid road.

Villagers chasing snakes, ghosts drinking milk, supernatural incidents, election results as qawwalis, etc, all are dished out, Ekta Kapoor style, in an endless flurry of jump cuts as the distinction between news and entertainment has been very nearly wiped out by head honchos with an eye on the meters.

Amit Sharma captures a moment of pure magic on Aaj Tak, which comes out of the respectable India Today stable, and which too has gone the same way in its quest to remain at the top. “Amitabh Bachchan ko thandh lagi,” reads the “Breaking News” super at the bottom. Translation: Amitabh Bachchan catches a cold.

Also read: Huh!

Link via India Uncut

Six roles the modern journalist must play

7 February 2008

Howard Owens has a fine piece on the six roles that the modern journalist must play, as opposed to the top-down, linear,  uncomplicated, command-and-control mode of the past.

# The Ethical Role: “Raise the bar on professional ethics, and then provide ethical guidence to today’s participatory audience. We should deal more swiftly and transparently with ethical errors within the profession, but we should also provide teaching tools on information ethics”

# The Guide/Filter Role: “Editors and reporters should assume some responsibility for providing their audiences with pointers to the best stuff on the web, be it the best-reported of the important news or the most interesting and entertaining articles and videos.”

# The Understanding and Context Role: “The best journalists should become the best bloggers. These people should have blogs, and they should serve readers better by taking the news of the day and putting it in context, combing articles for the tidbits that need to be weaved together to make a bigger whole, and explaining what it all means.”

# The Conversation Leader Role: “We should thank and encourage the good contributors, and depreciate the bad contributors We should highlight the smartest things people say. We should provide our own insights and supplemental knowledge to any conversation we find. We should be full participants, not just the lurking overlords of top-down media.”

# The Aggregator Role: “We should aggressively gather data related to the communities we serve. We should make sure that anything that is knowable about a community we serve is findable through resources we provide.”

# The Straight News Role: “We cannot and should not cede our professional responsibilities to uncover news. We must know about everything important going on in the communities that we serve, and we should strive to be the first to tell our communities about the important news of the moment.”

Read the full article: Six roles or job duties of modern journalism

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