Thursday, July 03, 2008

Historical Context...

GreatBong gives some historical context of spoofs, hoaxes and the like. What I don't get is the fact that sometimes there is absolutely no research done at all, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. A former colleague to whom I owe a lot for helping me through the troublesome and irritating first few months as a journalist, since my then (acting) bureau chief had taken it upon himself to screw my happiness (but I had my revenge!) once told me that 'Byline Diarrhea' was the worst disease in journalism, much, much worse that 'Ego-itis', and sometimes the lure of an easy byline is just too tempting.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of the story, but then again as the 'Akon Fraud' case teaches us, lies and hype can pretty much befall anyone. What is all the more stranger is that Google exists, a well targeted search (instead of just big, bad search terms) which includes going through cached stories and information can be really useful. Nobody is asking you to go to the British Council and research the mating habits of Gnats or something like that.

To answer the comment that I'm soft on UndieTV, I will answer that I'm not soft, I just can't bother to watch the channel since it has become extremely boring - even when people with little or no understanding demand 'blogs' should be banned. However, I was tremendously angry, as a technology reporter to see FUD on mobile phones (though I will admit that DG's powering cell towers are polluting - but that is due to a total failure of governance to provide adequate electricity) being spoken as fact. If you have 20-year olds doing your research, hire smart ones. And I have never agreed with NDTV's politics since I find it extremely hipocritical.

Plus, today's ToI lead by Diwakar has led to ruffles in the FinMin, but I don't think the FM will be fired just yet. But, it might be that Chiddu will be made a scapegoat for the price rise sooner or later.

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