For the higher a part of my life I used to be in a newspaper, a type of media which is on its final legs in most developed nations and Europe specifically. In India, newspapers are nonetheless thriving with a greater than 10 per cent annual progress for many regional newspapers. That’s enormous given the present market situations.

Whereas regional newspapers are rising, the English newspaper market is stagnating for the previous couple of years with no important progress in income, rising prices of employees salaries and printing prices, to not point out different ancillary prices of preserving the enterprise up and operating.

Therefore, most newspapers are freely sharing their stuff with the digital variations of the media, a course of that began round 2001-2002. Proper now, the method is full. Most newspaper reporters and sub-editors work for on-line portals whereas producing newspaper pages on the aspect. Just one or two newspapers nonetheless do not share desk employees due to the workload however in most others, you will not discover the separate set of reporters or sub-editors for on-line portals. They’re one and the identical.

However the huge workload that on-line portals have introduced forth, has created a brand new breed of media staff, who’re neither reporters nor on the desk. They do not do reporting they usually do not edit copies both. They only come to workplace and begin scanning the web with one eye firmly mounted on the social media updates of celebrities. When that’s achieved, they begin scanning what different web sites are writing about. If there’s one thing, they really feel is getting page-views — they straightaway rehash it for their very own portal, with or with out attribution.

High quality is one other concern, however what’s most harmful about these new breed of staff is that they’re anonymous and faceless folks constantly churning out “content material” on the idea of a set routine what they name content material calendar. The content material calendar is extra about amount than high quality. Which means they’ve to provide a sure variety of articles, day-after-day.

That is the place the issue lies.

Every day, there are a couple of 100 folks in Mumbai who’re churning out “content material” sitting of their air-conditioned places of work taking a look at social media and different web sites. They’re blindly copying the matter, including a headline and an image and off you go.

No, there are not any fact-checks, actuality checks and even sharing of duty. It simply cut-copy-paste and slam!

I do not forget that about a few months back, I acquired a name from Raveena Tandon, early within the morning a couple of report carried in a reputed newspaper’s on-line portal. Raveena was calling from the US and she or he had a quite simple question. She had stayed awake within the useless of the night time in order that she may attain out to me.

She was sounding very upset.

She had put out a tweet about some anti-social parts destroying meals and trashing them on the streets. She tweeted in opposition to them and mentioned that anti-social parts must be put into jail. In subsequent tweets, she clarified that she is just not in opposition to farmers however the anti-social parts who’re destroying meals articles after snatching it away from farmers.

The newspaper — whereas copy-pasting from one other web site — hinted that Raveena had taken an anti-farmer stand and needs farmers to be jailed for destroying meals.

Raveena, who was within the US, was understandably upset. She wished to talk to the editor of the portal and the involved reporter and are available on file about what she meant by the tweet and what precisely she desires to convey.

The state of affairs was this: The individual you’re reporting about is saying that her social media replace has been reported erroneously and she or he desires to come back on file to make clear her stand.

After lots of calls to folks I knew within the newspaper, I may lastly get by way of to the shift editor who was heading the shift when the article about Raveena was put up. After I defined that Raveena desires to make clear, he handed over the mobile to the one who really put it up on the article on-line.

The dialog went one thing like this…

  • Hello. That is Soumyadipta. Could I do know with whom I’m chatting with?
  • Inform me what’s improper with the article
  • Could I do know your title?
  • No
  • The article that you’ve put up is factually improper. The individual you may have reported on, desires to make clear about it to you
  • We’ve picked it up from ***** (one other portal). Please ask her to speak to them
  • The opposite portal has issued a clarification. However she desires to talk to you immediately and on file. She will ship an e-mail and even you’ll be able to file the decision if you need. Would you like an interview?
  • No. She had tweeted about it and now she has deleted it
  • Sure, she has clarified and she or he has deleted it as a result of she was being trolled. She has clarified it on Twitter. Might you carry the clarification additionally?
  • We can’t change it
  • However is not this in opposition to Journalism? Aren’t you duty-bound to hold a clarification and a rejoinder, of they’re issued to you?
  • I’m sorry. This can’t be achieved. We won’t transfer the article and neither will we modify it
  • It is a factually improper article and it’s going viral. It’s getting 1000’s of page-views however it’s affecting Raveena Tandon. She is being subjected to vile abuses. Request you to please carry her clarification too. It is part of your responsibility. Hey….

(The decision will get disconnected)

I known as up Raveena within the US and she or he was shocked. “Has journalism modified after you left?” she requested me.

I had no reply.

I did not hand over. I found out that the decision ought to have gone to a journalist and never a content material curator. So, the subsequent name went to the editor-in-chief who was holidaying overseas.

A day later, the article was taken down. However the harm was already achieved.

Raveena Tandon was scarred, she had endured two days of fixed abuse on Twitter.

This, my expensive associates, is an instance of what we name Bollywood Journalism, the place details and even celebrities do not matter when a content material goes viral.

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