22 February 2010

The Journo Trap: Who reads your stories?

Imagine a world where there are no television rating points (TRPs) for news channels.

Imagine a world where there is no broad circulation or readership metric for newspapers or magazine.

Imagine a world where journalists cannot quite claim their stories drive the business -- or one in which they can do EXACTLY that!

We seem to be getting there. But on the Web

AOL has started a new experiment in which stories on the Web are measured for popularity and the traffic shared. It is the closest journo stories got to post-paid billing a la telecoms.

Is that good for journalists?
Yes, if you are really good, and cribbing that your organisation does not take note of you. Or for you to fine-tune your work.
No, if your stories are meaningful in a larger social sense or giving you some personal fulfillment, but held accountable to some scoreboard.
Transparency is a two-way sword, I tell you.

18 February 2010

ABC of Indian Media-Advertising, Bollywood, Corporate Power

P. Sainath is a firebrand activist, and incidentally a journalist.
But he is understandably a spokesman for journalism and journalist issues these days, for good reasons
1) He is at The Hindu, which likes to discuss media-related issues on its pages, especially those that relate to ethics

2) As a methodical prodder passionate about rural and social issues, Sainath comes from the "development/activist" school of journalism, and is thoroughly disturbed by the trivialisation of many serious issues

3) He writes well, with a strong tendency to marshall facts and use telling phrases which can match any lawyer or public orator.

Here he is, arguing about how the Indian media is almost systematically being held to ransom by the superficial troika of advertising, movie glamour and corporate agenda. Good, essential reading for media watchers.

8 February 2010

Content goes the service way

Content is King, yes.

Murdoch says it is the emperor. Yes.

But there is an interesting insight. Just as a still is not a moving picture, content is not about static stuff on the Net. Increasingly, it is a service.
Here is a fine piece on that.