Overheard at Social Media Mela


“Our national obsession is getting settled” – Sanjay Rajoura, Indian stand up comedian

“We like to think everyone who matters is on Twitter” – Mighty Obvious

“People use Twitter to get to home, not to find out how much crime is happening.” – Norbert Almedia. Pakistani instructor

“What was the question? I’m completely lost” – Mohammad Hanif, Pakistani author

“Yehi hota hai Twitter pe.” Karuna John, Indian Associate Editor

“If people don’t take you seriously, maybe there’s no room for you in this side of space.” – Mighty Obvious

“Most writers make the mistake of writing about themselves in their first book. Not everyone is interested” – Annie Zaidi, Journalist

“There are some really scary opinions on Twitter. Two days ago I woke up and Jinnah was trending.” Mohammad Hanif, Pakistani author

“If you want to write about yourself, make a blog and wait for somebody to read it” Jugal Mody, Indian author

“Foreigner Tourist: Is that a cow?

Sanjay Rajoura: Meray ko to gayay hi dikh rahi hai, tujhe kya dikh rahi hai?”

“Citizen Journalists? Next thing you know we will be having citizen brain specialists! How far is this going to go?” Mohammad Hanif.

Faizan Lakhani, Reporter on releasing news before his TV channel “My employers asked me – salaray hum detay hain ya Twitter?”

“I came to Twitter for a one night stand, then I fell in love with it. Now, Twitter and I are getting married” Karuna John

Mohsin Siddiqui “If you have columnists why do you have blogs?” Bilal Lakhani, Express Tribune “We dont’ pay our bloggers.”

“Is mulk main… Apni mulk ki baat kar raha hun. Kuch ho na ho, settle sab hojatay hain. Har ghar main ek daadi hoti hain jo potay ki shakal dekhay bina marti nahi hai” Sanjay Rajoura



Losing out to social media?

Bloggers are random losers who don’t get published.

That’s exactly what my Journalism teacher told the entire class one day. Amidst no retorts and no “you better have a good reason for saying this”, her statement stood like a wall of fact. But was it really?

Recently, a lot of questions and speculations have come up about how print media is dying and while, I’m one of those who firmly believe it not to be so, in my opinion I think it has led to many print media professionals feeling a bit threatened about our increasing reliance on the world wide web  for information and the number of opportunities it has opened up for “non-journalists” to act/feel like they are in actuality, journalists.

It’s almost like how you’d react to a new co-worker who is just younger and better.

However, is there any cause for jealousy?

I think not. For one, I don’t think the social media “intends” to replace the print industry. Even though, more and more people are now relying on Twitter and their Facebook newsfeeds for such thing as weather updates, traffic blockages and new laws and regulations, a considerable number of people still continue to browse through newspapers to acquaint themselves with a particular style of reporting or let’s just say for a “more authentic” feel anyway.

One of the most oft quoted accusation against blogging has been about how it’s unedited and relies heavily upon the judgement or the intelligence of the person writing. While that’s mostly true, the fact that internet is accessible to everyone – blogger or not, sort of arms the readers with the ability to cross-check and make sure for themselves about whether what they are reading is just baseless or holds some weight.

Also, the fact that a number of people can comment right underneath the blog  increases the chances of the reader getting a more unbiased perspective than we think he is getting since he is privy to multiple opinions on the subject – something he normally can’t achieve during a news report on TV or on print.

Besides, with blogging you do have a certain amount of freedom. There are no deadlines, only the need to be relevant at the time of writing. There are no word count limitations or even editorial pressure to present or not present a certain perspective, depending upon the institutional pressures a publication is exposed to.

While that is frowned upon by hardcore journalists, a number of newspapers like The News, Dawn.com and The Express Tribune have taken the decision to publish blogs on their websites. They certainly aren’t put up unedited and unchecked. They go through a certain procedure, checked for authenticity and facts before they are put up.

While some of the factions all over the world continue to look down upon or don’t seriously take the implications of social media on readership habits, it’s true that with time, they are changing. Even though I’m an avid reader and a fan of the classic, I wouldn’t raise a hue and cry about reading  a newspaper on an e-tablet.