Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cheatin'

Isn't this a media blog?
Have you noticed something about the business media lately - they're all trying to become more tech heavy, by carrying more personal tech stories and reviews. Here is the fun part - its all cheating. The other day I read a Mumbai bylined story in ET, I'll skip my opinions of all the pink papers, but the story was essentially how Nokia is trying to copy Motorola and start using phone brand names instead of numbers. Wow, good story you might say!
But I distinctly recall reading the same story on either Gizmodo or Engadget. So I did a search and voila - the story was on Engadget. I read it in ET Chennai yesterday. And here it is. Granted, its not plagarism - its inspiration, but people do subscribe to feeds and stories like this don't exactly skip my attention. I'm just saying credit where it is due or rejig the story. I'm pretty sure the Nokia India spokeswomen must have been awfully confused when they got the call about this. They usually tend to be about such things. But, just because you wait a week and hope no-one remembers... Hmmm...
I'm not saying the story doesn't hold - it just looks awfully 'inspired'. The story could have sufficiently rejigged to look at how names work better - the headline itself made my brain make the connection - 'Haven't I read this somewhere?' Badly written story, and for gods sake, if you have to get idea off the net, ummm, work on them.

6 comments:

Shashi said...

Tech reporting is mediocre in Indian media. Technology means the latest handsets, iPod, a few more gizmos, and PR releases of Google, Yahoo & Microsoft. No serious analysis of current trends.

K said...

Not everywhere... read my publication.
But what is surprising is that in an attept to sound aware writers try and get stuff from the big tech blogs. This was like a prominent editor in the Hindu, who was then with the ToI who used to copy stuff from BoingBoing to look cool.

Bonatellis said...

i think it's a sweeping generalisation ... but I certainly know of one magazine that's certainly upped the ante on techie stuff, though I can't quite fathom why.

but IT reporters and tech reporting always existed in newspapers ever since the editors realised in the mid-90s that such a "beat" existed and needed to be given adequate importance.

even during my trainee days, my first (The Great Nandadulal) - who needed help to just login into his comp - demanded "blanket coverage" of the IT sector from Calcutta ....
just imagine covering the IT sector from Calcutta in 1995 !!!! what torture for the poor guy ... ahhh, memories ...

GBO said...

Why should anybody in tech actually want to tell all to the media? (Other than consumer electronics, and that is hardly tech . . . )

Right, K?

Easier to call yourself a BPO / KPO / and whatever else PO, 2 large with nimbu-soda.

charwaha said...

I agree. Something must be done.

But the Editor is the person who should do something. Not the poor reporter.

Do this. Do that. Phir we will get to read good things.

Soumyadip said...

Unless you write for a tech magazine, it becomes difficult for the jurno (the type who knows his zeros and ones well) to write an unbridled write up on the stuff. In the mainstream magazines (including the business ones) there's a need of a dumbing down (for the want of a better phrase). You have to write about iPods and Google press releases because that's what the readers can relate to, but at the same time it is the responsibility of the writer to open new doors for the reader. For some one who is hooked for most of his waking hours to the Worls Wide Web, the stuff that appears in the print and the electronic media sound trifling. But then most readers (and watchers) at least in this country aren't the Wired types.

Often editors give the tech-beat to a young guy who seems to be online most of the time, not realising that he is either IMing or Orkutting – and that is precisely where his know-how of the technical world ends (with a little extension to photographing PYTs in the Metro and the Malls using his plastic-lensed cameraphone). I often get a few calls from friends lost in the tech-beat enquiring about some 'stuff' from and equally (if not more) lost me.

I've been following the technology articles in that publication that you mentioned for the last few weeks, but this isn't the right place to write about it.