Blogs: an alternative to traditional media?

Blogs are, in plain words, a digital expression of one’s thoughts which are no more personal. The habit of diary writing and keeping it to oneself has given way to making it public because of several reasons. The reasons may be the availability of a platform to share, affordability, the flood of social networking sites, self-promotion, desire to be commented etc. Anyway, blogging has become a rage and is here to stay for a while before something more innovative and intuitive takes over.

Blogging is a way to express one’s opinion over a certain issue, giving factual information in a limited way and more importantly generate a discussion. The discussion may or may not bring immediate or even long time results, yet at least it spreads the word over an issue.

Traditional media like TV, radio, print etc. have started to lose their credibility because of the reasons such as the money factor and agenda setting. Many media houses in itself are big groups which have cross ownership, giving them a potential to show or throw what they want. Almost all the existing media houses are doing the same, caring less what people want to see and more what they should show.

The ‘should’ word has nothing to do with right and wrong, just and unjust, rather it is dependent on what will ‘sell’, not even what ‘sells’. A good salesman can sell anything but the fear of losing the market share has made the traditional media, especially TV, to rely on set formula which is to create suspense, thrill, superstition, dramatize, sensation and drag the audience for a half an hour package of non-sense!

Newspapers too aren’t doing something great; they are more into publishing news in between the advertisements than the other way round. Advertorials, confusing news stories, paid news, supplements for the sole purpose of a space to bring in more advertisements are the trend. The reader is frustrated or has started to live with it. Also, the readers have now choices and many platforms available to look out for actual news and information then to rely a one.

Blogging gives a ‘liberty to bash’. One can criticise anything on one’s own perception. This is good as well as the bad part of blogging. Blogs are free space but they should be used for the purpose of spreading information and inviting opinion over a topic. The moment it has got wrong motives the quality goes to trash.

Blog is a very powerful tool and people will have to understand how to utilise its power. One writes and within a few clicks and a moment is readable in and around the world, can get comments, go live chatting with one’s readers, modify one’s blog depending on comments and in all come with a better post.

It is becoming a rage among youth in particular. Nowadays, every second persons owns a blog. He/she may not be writing regularly but it’s like a space that is needed. This is a space that gives an alternative to readers.

However, it is a debatable topic whether or not blogs can be an alternative to the traditional media. Traditional media has many problems at present and the blogosphere is booming. Print organisations are losing their readership, more people are turning to internet and they don’t want the same newspaper over there. Search based news is what people look for. This is the point where a good blog with a good amount of readership becomes available and people start following it.

The editorial value of most of the blogs is not, and perhaps cannot be, at par with that of the newspapers. Blogging is a casual approach; even if serious it cannot always have the same viewership or readership as a newspaper or TV programme.

Blogging democratises information, one can pick a news and make it reach everyone by either writing on that, rewriting it or even just putting a link on the blog. It gives the power to express and freedom to be heard. At the same time it has huge potential which requires responsibility if it is being used for a responsible purpose.

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