Blog-Mainstream War: An Ideal Regulatory Mechanism

Akbar Khan

Blogs or mainstream, the debate rages amongst proponents, oblivious of the benefits of achieving an optimal mix by creating a symbiosis between the two media arms that are characterized by their finer points and flaws.

While the mainstream is forced to walk the tightrope between advertising revenue compulsions and sometimes political affiliations, the blogs are free of such baggage, but bank on the traditional media to fulfill the primary need for news that could be rewritten or re-presented with a liberal sprinkling of personal views.

While newspaper editors come armed with decades of experience and their writings are perfectly synched to the data brought forth by detailed readership surveys and editorial lines rather than personal opinions, the bloggers have no such worries to contend with as they voice thoughts with an irreverence that often borders on impunity.

Not to say that impropriety only exists on the blogosphere, the newspapers too indulge in the practice, especially if the literary philandering happens to find favour amongst readers, advertisers or political patrons.

The promiscuity of the pen, however, could not just be blamed on the mainstream as a majority of serious blogs are woven around individual identity, preference and the resultant perspectives that sometimes reek of a heavily blinkered vision that the conventional media would be able to identify, correct or weed-out at editorial meetings.

Not that I am an opponent of free speech, expression and whatever may lie between the two, but I have often felt the need of watering down the movementalism that seems  to have infected bloggers, especially in India.

On the other hand the conventional media too, should attempt to resurrect its image that has sagged lower than the shoulder-slung bags or even the khadi kurtas that once epitomized ethical journalism in the country.

With no credible mechanism to regulate media content, to my mind the love-hate relationship, between bloggers and the mainstream and those that cross-over to either side, is an ideal arrangement that will keep the ‘other’ on its toes till it finds its feet or meets the boot.

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