By Raza Elahi
"News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising”.
British press magnate Lord Northcliffe
In a season when the leaked conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and some of India’s top journalists continue to evoke public curiosity and the WikiLeaks’ disclosure of internal communications between US diplomats based outside America and the central command at Washington embarrassing the White House, one may not be wrong in saying that technology alone can take on the task of bringing out something which someone wants to suppress.
Although much of the mainstream media -- except Open and Outlook magazines -- initially blacked out Radia tapes, yet they reached the public through the networking sites, blogs and Twitter etc.
Similarly, an unfazed and defiant Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, has exposed the secrets of America that many US government officials contend those information should not be made public because it will endanger many lives.
In traditional newspapers and news channels -- which are mostly controlled and managed by corporate houses -- journalists have to follow certain protocols or guidelines in deciding what stories/feed to cover and what to ignore, but today, technology has changed it all. Now, any individual can build his own website/portal/blog by using the Internet and if he knows how to gather information and report it to the public, he can serve it as an independent source of news and opinion.
Today, bloggers (the new crop of ‘journalists’) are fearlessly exposing corruption and acting as whistleblowers. They are individuals, having no burden of being affiliated to corporate houses, express and exchange their views through blogs and internet groups.
The example of WikiLeaks and the emerging trend of blogging, social networking and tweeting have definitely changed the rule of disseminating information.
(The writer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)