Monday, October 03, 2005

Acting Locally

Nabina Das laments the lack of community news coverage in Indian media. India Together: Making it to page one:
"My experiences with the news coverage in places like Assam or Delhi highlighted nothing that could be put in the category of community news coverage. Community mattered when political leaders visited a ward or a municipality for a specific reason or when it was time to woo voters. Even then, assignment editors would not want the stories to be woven around the tribal farmer with his subsistence pig farm or the poor Muslim pith crafter community (whose craft is nearly vanishing)."
I feel that the local language newspapers in India (e.g. Sakal in Maharashtra) do a much better job at reporting local stories. Although I do agree that most of those stories too fall into well defined categories. There is a strong need for alternative media in India. There is still a long way to a place where the community members themselves from all corners of India will participate in reporting and publishing stories about their community. As the use of internet in India grows, community blogs in my opinion will play a really great role in closing the gap.

The news media can start community blogs, where their local reporters may post stories which typically won't go into the print edition. These blogs accessible from the newspapers' websites, would give the readers more access to local reporting. Another solution could be websites (for profit or non-profit) dedicated to community reporting where community members themselves contribute stories via the internet. Websites such as Good news India and India Together have already begun the process a little bit.

There can be many innovative solutions to this problem. I believe that internet and communication technology has vastly improved the number of possible solutions. I am simply thrilled by the possibilites that a participative internet provides for this particular problem.

Looking forward to blogs from Sangli and Kirloskarwadi...

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1 comment:

Point 5 said...

Hi Sameer,

Great to c that u r active again..

I am doing fine in LA. Hope things r going well in SC...will call u sometime..