Blogging v/s traditional media

I have been listening to a lot of blogging v/s mainstream media debate at the Blogaloreans google groups community and to be frank I am fed up of it. Why do some think traditional media can be replaced by blogging/blogs? How practical is such a solution?
Can blogging sustain without traditional media?

Okay lets approach these questions one by one

Can traditional media be replaced completely replaced by blogs?
Absolutely not! As I see it… blogs are interesting take (heavily opinionated) of an incident which the blogger came across on television/newspaper. People can refer to blog posts to may be, understand certain issues better and people can write posts to make their opinion on certain issues clear. But they can never give what traditional media gives – unbiased news coverage or reporting. One field in which blogs do the news reporting is when it comes to technology/gaming and they already have more so.

How practical is it for blogs to replace traditional media?
Quite impractical! Lets say a blogger gets to know a tit-bit of information from some source on twitter (or any other source). He/she doesn’t have contacts of officials nor contacts of other victims/witnesses. It is impossible for a person in such a position to write a wholistic report… all that can be written is a description of events which might not be enough from a reader point of view. Now lets take the same case with a newspaper. They generally have access to officials in the city/nation and can afford to send people to report the event (they get paid to do it unlike a blogger)

So can blogging sustain without traditional media?

Are you kidding me? No ways.. Traditional media give you the heads up. How much

ever you deny it is still trustworthy enough why else do so bloggers link back to stories which appeared in traditional media! May be media industry has sold its soul to the devil (advertising) that too mainly because no paper can afford to transfer is printing and staff expenses on to the reader. We are in the age of Re 1 (all-colour) papers and if such a paper is brought out without ads it would cost Rs 25 at least!

Does traditional media want bloggers dead?
Of course not! Newspapers have started relying on contents from blog for example Bangalore Mirror has a daily column featuring a Bangalore blog and Indian Express’s Zeitgeist supplement is almost fully made of blogs. And yes some prefer to β€˜steal’ content as well.

What is required?

Peace. Yes the word is peace. The blood lust has to end and we need to understand that one medium cannot do without the other. No medium is perfect as each has its own shortcomings, some medium however may look more cool or glamorous thats all. Blogging is the ‘in-thing’ right now and hopefully will remain to be. It will grow much like traditional media did over the ages and hopefully will become a traditional media form in the future but never even dream of replacing the existing ones!

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30 thoughts on “Blogging v/s traditional media

  1. Balu, thanks for mentioning the fact that HT stole my photo. Particularly as you are from the mainstream media.
    I agree with you that blogs cannot replace traditional media. I worked with the ET and freelanced for the Mumbai Times and TOI (both bangalore and mumbai) for many years and therefore do have a soft corner for the newspaper. TOI has a lot of good points although some bad points as well…but this has happened more in the last couple of years (I think).
    I wonder why people should think blogging will replace traditional media though. I think however people will trust blogs more than they do today. And traditional media will continue to provide back-up. Also I think people will realise (and have realised in India like they have already done in developed countries) that newspapers and mags even if they are mainline are not writing the holy grail. You will be surprised how many believed this about 10 years ago…now people are more suspicious and it will take a lot for any newspaper to prove its credibility once it has lost it.

  2. You post definitely looks like an old media journalists post. All your answers are filled with emotion. What ever you say, one thing is sure. I have 5 friend with me. None of us read any news papers. We dont believe in anything that the old media says cos we have first hand experience on how the old media manipulates news.

    Bloggers are also not different. But if you read 3 blogs on the same subject, you will get a balanced picture.

    Its also not true that bloggers get information from the newspapers. I myself have gone and interviewed people. Im not a journalist, but I do research on areas of my interest. Im not interested in writing regular, obvious and boring things.

  3. hmm it is a balanced thought,to each,his own.

    like u mentioned,for a product review i wouldn’t really look into the newspaper but rather check it out on someone’s blog.

    and the newspaper is an indispensable part of my life πŸ™‚ i agree,a lot of articles r heavily influenced by media reporting but to state that its not possible for bloggers to throw into light new issues without the help of media is unfair. a lot of issues can be handled successfully by bloggers too ,i’m not talking of reporting per se but dissecting and analyzing a news report πŸ™‚ we r always good at that !

  4. @Nita
    Hey… I know who you are.. I mailed you once requesting permission to publish blog remember? Yes, I agree with the fact that people trust blogs but not all blogs can be trusted (way too many splogs these days). Again I agree about the credibility and yes media needs to try a little harder to regain the confidence of readers.

    @Kenny
    My friend I was a blogger before I became a journalist. Does the post sound emotional? Well good cos its a blog! You are saying you don’t read paper. But don’t you check out news online? Don’t you see news on television. Don’t tell me you don’t!
    If you are one of those bloggers who do an indepth research before you do a story you have future my friend.. but don’t you think there is a limitation to the number of stories you can cover in comparison to a media organisation?

    @megacloud
    I agree.. Bloggers do throw up a lot of new issues and hence it has become indispensable part of a newspaper. Like I mentioned in the story, a lot of newspapers use content from blogs. But if you are looking at percentages the influence mainstream media plays on blogging is much higher than vice-versa. It might be a talk show on NDTV or an editorial in Hindu for all you know. Being a blogger I too wish for a day when mainstream media will look at us with the same ease bloggers look at them. As of now newspapers like Express have made a very conscious decision to use content from blog. Once this becomes the norm media industry will function in an altogether different way in India

  5. I agree with what you say. Blogs and traditional media are completely different. Blogs are opinions, whereas Traditional media is solid news. It is illogical to think that blogs would replace traditional media. I mean, think about it..can you imagine reading a blog of somebody instead of your national newspaper? Obviously not.

    The only way it can go is that online versions of major newspaper websites may replace traditional newspapers. It isn’t going beyond that.

  6. I depend FULLY on the media to get information, be that newspaper or the TV. so i agree with u, i cant blog without the media. I blame them, still I need them. πŸ™‚

  7. WEll i depend on both for information…if u subscribe for a news blog u can read it in ur reader at anytime
    but still traditional media is an indispensable part..and as Ish said we feel it like solid news even if they add gas πŸ˜›
    reading news paper has become a habit n ofcourse its a good one ,atleast we save more energy πŸ™‚

  8. Its the difference between the Amature and Professional … blogs can not replace traditional media and vice versa.. as simple as that..

    well, thats what I think

  9. @Ish
    Online versions becoming more powerful than the print versioon — highly possible!!
    @Xylene
    Necessary evil? πŸ˜‰
    @Rekha
    I agree there are news bogs but they cater to certain niche like a magazine. and yes we are habituated to newspapers thanks to our parents who forced us to read it everyday in the morning
    @Vaibhav
    I personally feel blogging shouldn’t get too professional either it becomes something different then

  10. In my line of work, we do focus on both lines of media – blogs and print. I personally think that pretty soon, e-papers and blogs will reign supreme, and the percentage of ppl reading newspapers the traditional way will come down. More and more journalists will turn to tapping the cyber space for more readership, and getting a global reach, than what the newspaper offers them. I already came across many commercial blogs, where ppl get paid to blog regularly (though this idea resembles a literary whore!)…
    But, blogs can’t completely overtake print media, rather, it can become a powerful tool that can aid falling standards of certain newspapers…

  11. “aid falling standards of certain newspapers” Fully agree! πŸ˜€
    e-papers becoming more important highly possible.. I agree more and more people are moving online.. I just cant agree with the fact that one medium will replace another.. thats jus impossible.. When video couldn’t kill radio can blogs kill other media forms?

  12. more than a question of vs, its a question of what role each would play in the consuming public’s life…. as for media replacing media, is just a function of utlity…meanwhile, the web is not just about blogs, its about everything that keeps a person informed and aware, that include everything from microblogging to online newspapers… the role traditionally played by newspapers…. the faster newspapers acknowledge this generic competition and adapt, the better it is for them, because what you have written might be regarded as true in a country with 4.5% web penetration, but in the long term, we might begin to wonder which one is actually mainstream media… πŸ™‚

  13. did u watch the NDTV discussion on blogging last night? oops,they only spoke bout it from the “independent sexually liberated youth indian” point of view,i was so disappointed !

    why cant they talk of it in a more positive manner,like how it helps highlight social issues !

  14. I think both media can become equally powerful. Today if we read something on a blog, we don’t Google it to double check it. Do we?

  15. I totally agree with you.Blogs can never replace mainstream media and blogging cannot sustain without them either.Most of the posts that we read have been inspired from some kind of article on newspaper or some show on TV and many other media sources.Blogs get more personal whereas mainstream media is completely unbiased.Blogs are written to give opinions on the day-to-day happenings.

    Your post reminded me of a show on NDTV which is being aired throughout this week(Repeat telecasts).The show is WE THE PEOPLE and the talk is on “Brave New World of Blogs”.I dint like the way they have portrayed bloggers there.They could have given a more positive approach to it.

  16. I don’t remember you writing to me though..you mean you actually wrote something about my blog? As I live in Mumbai, don’t know about the bangalore newspapers.
    I agree with many commentators when they say that one tends to trust blogs more…blogs are people, people like us. One hears that most news in publications these days is paid for, there was a sucheta dalal article in which she said that even ET news (advise abt what shares to buy) is paid for…I think I have a link somwhere. If everything that appears in the newspapers and mags could be paid for, then whom do we trust? Ordinary bloggers. Like someone said here, read several blogs on the same subject and you get an objective picture. If you read several newspapers, you get the same thing!! Well, mostly anyway.

  17. @manuscrypts
    Exactly my point their roles are different, hence one can’t replace another. Importance of one may rise above the other but never replace one. Like I mentioned in a earlier comment most blogs cater to niche audiences and blog hopping is something not everyone will be comfortable with…
    “we might begin to wonder which one is actually mainstream media… :)” Exactly what I said in the last line of my post πŸ˜€

    @megacloud
    Couldn’t watch it.. heard a lot of abt it.. read a few ‘live’comments on the show on twitter. I think the topic was decided by some insecure fool who never even read or commented on a blog!

    @Amit
    Hopefully yes blogging will be equally powerful.. like it is US or or in other western countries.. For blogging to become as powerful internet penetration needs to be increase manifold!

  18. @waaahappening
    I won’t say totally unbiased but ya they try to be unbiased.. abt the show.. ya heard bt it.. heard all the people were making fool out of themselves.. something to the extant of how servers consume lots of power or so…

    @Nita
    I agree blogs can be more trustworthy on certain topics and rightly so. But again thats just what I said. You can get to know of an event/product from a news medium and then go blog hopping to do a reality check on the quality.

  19. Thats a very good post Balu. I totally agree with your comparisons. Both have their charm! We should and must not confuse or try and replace one for the other!

  20. I agree with u totally..i think if there is no traditional media then bloggers wont have anything to blog about in the 1st place!! A blog can never replace a newspaper!!! cuz mostly its a one person opinion and has very less coverage than a newspaper.

  21. wow..excellent post dude..
    well ,agree with u completely
    how many people actually follow blogs..
    90 percent of the people i know would scratch their heads with the mention of the word blogging..they even dont know what its all about..
    there is no way in current scenario that blogging could even match mainstream media and most blogs sources are media..
    very good post

  22. Nice post. Ok, here’s what I think about it. (plz forgive and correct if I am wrong)
    A blog may contains views about what you like or something of your interestson an dail basis of around one or two posts per day. Whether it is informative or non-informative. But what about the newspapers? At an average of around 15+ pages everyday!!! This is the difference between a blog and a newspaper or a media… I am not saying that blogs are not informative..They are but not as informative than the media. And also, not everyone in India has an Internet connection to sit in front of the comp and read our blogs…! (well not a computer also). Newspapers are the best to be updated.

    At college times we students used to get Bangalore Mirror and sit at the last benches and read the paper. No matter whether it was an important class or a boring one. We used to sit and read it. And at the end, after reading the news section, sit and solve the puzzles… πŸ˜€

    This is just an experience and what I think about the media…Felt like sharing it…. nothing else.. πŸ™‚

  23. @Nova
    Glad you agree! πŸ™‚

    @Reema
    Hey cool .. thanks wil return the favour!! πŸ™‚

    @Arvind
    Thanks Arvind.. Ya even I am faced with similar situation.. its strange when people of your own generation (the supposedly 2.0 gen) don’t know anything about bogging

    @Joel
    Well well I have a feeling they will ban BM in campus after cell-phones!! πŸ˜€

  24. mmm…interesting reading, especially some of the comments here.

    Buddy balu, when the textbook controversy in Kerala happened many of us who havn’t any access to the papers or media got a better, clearer and honest picyure from the blog-o-sphere. If we had depended on the media all what we would’ve read will be edited or stereotyoed versions of the picture, deviating largely from the real frame.

    Its true bloggers at present linkback to the original mediaquote, but things have already started the otherway. Many a news reports, especially on the social blogs, pings on the original post in the blog-world and then elaborates on it.

    The flipside is that only a small section of the society reads these web-scripts at present inspite of what we call a blog-explosion or what…So give it some time, and just be ready for the surprise!

  25. @Scorpiogenius
    I agree that a lot of people look up blogs these days for possible for a better understanding of news covered in mainstream media, but the news gained popularity because of the coverage given by mainstream media (may be skewed.. no denying that)..

    I have written this on my blog so I am not against blogging or blogging becoming really big.. I am waiting for such a day much like any other blogger.. I was just stating in-todays-world opinion thats all! πŸ˜€

  26. Hi Balu,
    Just to tell you that I read this sometime back and the topic has stayed with me. Of course, blogging and Net 2 will change traditional media. We are seeing that already.
    Perhaps I’ll elaborate later. Keep writing.

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