The Bahrain ferry disaster
I am extremely angry with the kind of shallow, superficial and senseless 'reporting' that seems to go on. Yesterday, a ferry capsized in Bahrain and among the 62 dead were, almost, 17 Indians. And yet... none of the Indian new channels that we get here (NDTV, Star News, Zee News) bothered to even give it the kind of saturation report that CNN and BBC and Al Jazeera did.
Ofcourse, while questions were raised about the safety of the boat and Bahraini officials were grilled to reveal the nationalities of the victims... what do you thiink the Indian channels were showing? Some conclave of some BJP legislators and some other shenanigans of the folks from Delhi. Oh yes, Star News had this interesting story on a little girl who was trying to stand on her feet or something. Very touching but I sat there with my mouth wide open.
Now I am not much of a fan of these Indian news channels, and so I checked the websites of some of the newspapers... and what do I find? The news is tucked right under some very important news like the next cricket lineup, political party soap operas, Gandhi-Bachchan shenanigans... and it was 'agency' news as if the newspapers wouldn't even be bothered by the death of 17 Indians.
Contrast this with CNN and BBC, and it was amazing to see how they picked up the story, followed the threads, asked the right questions, brought clarity, embarassed a few people, and in short... made us, residents of a small country, feel that our disaster was not insignificant at all.
As Gulf based Indians, we are more than aware of the indifference and apathy we experience at the hands of the Indian establishment. Just because the bulk of Indians in our part of the world are the labour class, it is assumed (I guess) that we don't matter in the wider scheme of things. But when it comes to investments in real estate, mutual funds, or just plain seeking money from us, then, they remember us with such devotion that one would want to weep with joy.
We are expected to be loyal and to remember the country at ALL times, especially when there is natural disaster, war or any other calamity but when something hurts us... complete indifference.
The irony is that the same Indian media and 'personalities' are the ones who cry hoarse against CNN, BBC and other multinationals using words like 'imperialism' and other kind words. And yet when the time comes to establish their own credibility they are found seriously wanting.
It is easy for them to accuse CNN or BBC to be western oriented but that doesn't explain why the Indian media choose to ignore and sideline the deaths of 17 Indians. I am, also, upset that a close friend died in this disaster and it pains me to see that his death and that of other Indians would remain a mere footnote and not the tragedy it really was.
Ashish Gorde at http://www.ashishgorde.org and http://ashishgorde.blogspot.com
"Inflaming communal passions"
More speculation about blogging and MSM
Dear TR Vivek,
Citizen journalism + a view from a skeptic
Perhaps most importantly of all, the TsunamiHelp blog has left a lasting legacy. The model of communication it forged has set the standard for web coverage of subsequent disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake, and many of the TsunamiHelp bloggers have used their expertise to launch similar projects on other disasters. And NGOs and academics are interested in using the TsunamiHelp model as a template for communication during future disasters.
The reason for the impact of blogs like SEA-EAT (and later, Cloudburst Mumbai and Quake Help) was that they were run by teams of dedicated people who knew how to leverage the advantages of the internet—reaching a wide audience, pooling valuable resources from concerned people regardless of their location.And from Amit:
It is true that in the hands of mediocre writers, the freedom that blogging affords can lead to self-indulgence. But I've found over the past year that the blogosphere is meritocratic, and readers are quick to sort out the wheat from the chaff. This is a new medium, and there's space for plenty more wheat.And, this, from the in-house skeptic
The blog, a hero? You must be kidding. Maybe elsewhere in the world blogs and bloggers have made a difference during such natural disasters. But in India, over the past one year, where we have had a spate of natural calamities and bomb blasts, there is little evidence suggesting that this new medium, and its proponents have had any impact. Although a handful of bloggers have tried manfully.I was tempted to just leave that without a comment, but I have to say this (and I'm quoted in Jai's piece and mentioned in Amit's, so you might say I have vested interest), but innit strange that two of India's most respected and widely-read bloggers write balanced pieces with no evangelistic statements, and it's the self-styled skeptic from mainstream media doing the ranting?
re-re-repeat funnies in Express, Delhi
The DNA of sting ops
This disturbing revelation was made by a Zee News team of Vatsal Shrivastava, Pramod Sharma, and Nikhil Dube, which worked its way through a chain of brokers and agents to negotiate a deal in which it would have to pay Rs20 lakh for two medical colleges.
The sting operation, which was telecast on Friday night, exposed some MCI officials, including Deputy Secretary Dr KK Arora. Though the Zee team did not take the process to its logical conclusion and actually obtain a certificate of permission, its investigation raises doubts about the functioning of the country's highest medical regulatory body.