27 June 2008

When the media looks at itself...with good wishes to Medianama

My friend Nikhil Pahwa has started his own venture to chronicle the media industry. While I wish all the best to Medianama I have some points to ponder.
When I started this blog three years ago, it was with the idea of talking to media students to whom I gave a lecture. Otherwise, I was a bit sceptical/cynical about the media talking to itself about itself, but now I am wiser.
Every industry needs its own vertical, and sites like Exchange4media and Indiantelevision are doing a rather good job in making the community come alive for its own purposes. Medianama and Nikhil's previous employer, ContentSutra fit into this matrix, and hopefully, so does this very blog.
This, I can see now, is not a case of "Mirror, mirror on the wall,..."
There is more to this than incestuous Narcissism. I find Indian companies generally have poor internal communications. This may not be intentional, but it is there. Very often, media professionals rely on stray gossip, hearsay and malicious slander to inform themselves about their own companies or industry trends. Vertical Internet sites can and do step in to clear the air, and should not be confused with blogs with malicious intent or content.
The simple fact is that there is always a market for truth and facts -- though we can quibble on the demand, supply and pricing factors. If you are in the business of facts, accuracy and truth, there are ways to face the competition in the marketplace. Journalists often pursue truth -- without knowing how to market it. Hopefully, they will live and learn. We all do.

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