Indian Media: Why journalists hate trolls

Pagal Patrakar (in his blog – http://blog.fakingnews.com) writes without any screaming and shouting in plain English and without any intellectual nonsense or any stern voice and constipated faces either, about how journalists thinks that it is their duty, as a journalist, to show “mirror to the society” and not let anyone show the the mirror:

..For them(journalists) , a troll is anyone who is not following the rules and decorum of a civilized communication, and who argues without showing much respect to logic.

At this point of time, some of the top journalists leading the crusade against trolls would claim that their objection is only to the abusive and hateful trolls. I have reasons to believe that this is just an excuse.

The thought process (no lateral thinking involved here) behind creating such a list is rooted in a journalist’s arrogated right to frame rules and decorum for a public debate…..However, more than the anarchic nature of Twitter (and much of the virtual world) and a public display of love towards civilized discourse, a journalist’s problem with Twitter arises from the fact that traditional journalism is ill-conceived to allow and incorporate feedback and criticism.

……..I’ve been a (television) journalist myself (in pre-Facebook and pre-Twitter era) and don’t remember a single editorial meeting that was called in to discuss feedback. In fact, there was no mechanism to collect public feedback at all.

The only ‘feedback’ that we were responding to was weekly TRPs. There were weekly meetings to analyze what type of program gathered the highest TRP and how to repeat the “success”. And I guess things haven’t changed much since then.

Most of what is being dismissed as trolling by journalists (not all of them, I must admit; many of them are doing really good on Twitter) are actually instant and angry feedback by their ‘consumers’.

Traditional journalism, as an institution, has always seen itself as ‘giving feedback’ to the society and hasn’t thought it necessary to ‘take feedback’.

I remember Indian Express editor Shekhar Gupta’s interview with Star News (now ABP News) after the coup-story controversy where he claimed that a member of Team Anna (most probably Arvind Kejriwal) had asked him whether Indian Express took feedback from the readers on what it publishes (Express had published a string of stories ‘exposing’ Team Anna before).

Shekhar Gupta thought that the suggestion (about taking feedback) was irrelevant as it was his duty, as a journalist, to show “mirror to the society” (his words) and not let anyone show him the mirror (my words).

A bulk of the problems of journalists with Twitter is rooted in this nature of journalism, where feedback is not deemed necessary, in fact, it’s seen as an unpleasant development, something they happily dismiss as trolling.

Read the full post : Why journalists hate trolls

Indian scribes are compelled to pay ritual obeisance to PM’s “personal honesty and integrity”

Madhu Purnima Kishwar writes Honestly Speaking in Outlook: 

Dr Manmohan Singh cannot escape responsibility for appointing people with dubious credentials to occupy key positions of power—starting with the appointment of Pratibha Patil as the President of India.

Today, the Indian media—both print and television—is focusing on the recent corruption scandals involving the UPA Government with unusual zeal. However, I fail to understand why almost every commentator, every TV anchor, every editorial writer feels compelled to pay ritual obeisance to the “personal honesty and integrity” of Dr Manmohan Singh while dealing with the scandals emanating from his cabinet colleagues. They do so even when there is clear evidence that the Prime Minister was well aware of various shady deals, as in the case of Telecom scam, and that he did nothing to stop the brazen economic crimes indulged in by his ministerial colleagues over the last 6 years. 
…In recent weeks, some of our most respected columnists have been warning us that we should look at institutional reform rather than target individuals because it can lead to loss of faith in democratic institutions. But how do you retain faith in democratic institutions if powerful individuals use their office to systematically subvert the autonomy and credibility of institutions meant as watchdogs of democracy? The best of institutions take no time in becoming slavish instruments of partisan agendas if you plant subservient and heavily compromised individuals at their helm.

……..A PM who compromises national interest, as in Kashmir, just to indulge the personal fancy of the PM in waiting, a PM who looks the other way while his Cabinet colleagues brazenly loot public funds and get away with extorting thousands of crores by way of kickbacks, a PM who is widely perceived and lampooned as a “rubber stamp” does not merit being called “an honest man” or a “man of integrity” because integrity in his job demands putting national interest above partisan politics and personal loyalties. Integrity also involves taking full responsibility for all his acts of commission and omission which have earned UPA II the dubious distinction of being publicly named as the most corrupt and rudderless government in post independence India


Madhu Purnima Kishwar is Founding Editor, Manushi Journal, Founder, Manushi Sangathan–Citizens First Forum and Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

 Read the full piece Honestly Speaking in Outlook

‘Court banned Singhvi clip for media, not for common man’

THE BSKS ACTIVIST SAYS PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO SEE THE SEX VIDEO

YOU HAVE seen Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga earlier on TV, when he manhandled the Supreme Court lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhusan last year in his chamber. Bagga is at it again. This time he has uploaded Abhishek Manu Singhvi‘s sex CD on a social networking site. ‘If sex CDs and clippings of N D Tiwari, Swami Nityanand and porn viewings of Karnataka MLAs can be aired by the media and uploaded on social networking sites, what is so different with this particular sex CD?’ he asks. In an exclusive interview with Siddheshwar Shukla, Millenium Post he says:

 that he has every right to upload the clipping and people have the right to the ‘naked truth’.

Excerpts: The sex CD/clippings of Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi is on a social networking site with your photograph. Is it your profile? Have you uploaded the clippings?

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga: Yes, I have uploaded the clippings on the social networking site Twitvid. 

How did you obtain the clipping?

It was uploaded on YouTube for a short while at around 9 pm on Thursday. I knew it will be deactivated, so I started downloading it immediately. It was deactivated in less than 10 minutes, but by then I had downloaded it on my PC. The clippings were uploaded by several members on YouTube but deactivated soon after. So, I decided to upload it on a new social networking site. 

The court has put an injunction. Don’t you think it’s a violation of the court order?

I think I am well within my rights to upload the clippings. I have neither violated the court order nor engaged in any anti-national activity. The court has banned it for the media, not for the common man to view it. Also, hundreds of anti-India clippings containing anti-national slogans, terrorist activities, anti- national campaigns are on the you tube, but the government is not concerned about it. So why so much hue and cry on this sex CD? In my opinion, it should be left on the people to decide what is wrong and what is right? 

What if court takes action against you?

I will put my view before the court. I am ready to face whatever action the court or any authority takes against me. But why is the Congress party hell bent to ban the CD and clippings. If sex CDs of N D Tiwari, Swami Nityanand and porn viewings of Karnataka MLAs can be aired by media and uploaded on television channels, why not this CD ? Why does the Congress want to bury the truth? The party which was instrumental in other sex clippings cases has suddenly become shy to talk about the sex CD of Singhvi. The truth must come before the people. 

How do you see the entire episode of Singhvi’s sex CD?

It’s a shame for our country. A person sitting on such crucial position is engaged in such sleazy acts, that too in his office. The response of the Congress party is equally shameful, in stead of taking action they are defending Singhvi and asking him to go in hiding for some time. It’s the same party that has taken action against N D Tiwari sex CD case and was very instrumental in demanding action against Swami Nityanand and porn viewings of Karnataka MLAs in the assembly. The ban on CD is actually a gag order on the media. 

Don’t you think your life could be in danger?

I am not afraid of anybody. I do what I think is right. I have done nothing wrong. The clippings reveal what Singhvi had done. If he is in the right, he must come forward to face the public. Ban is not a solution. If he is wrong he must step down. Such people don’t have right to hold public posts. They can’t be role model for youth, neither guide the nation. I will keep on exposing such persons and highlighting issues in days to come.