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Social media undermining journalistic credibility?

by Prasad Krishna last modified Mar 06, 2013 04:41 AM
The line separating journalists and bloggers is being increasingly blurred due to the growth of social media, said Nelson Moses, who was a panelist at a discussion on the credibility of social media as a journalistic tool.
Social media undermining journalistic credibility?

Panelists at the event | EPS

The article was published in the New Indian Express on March 4, 2013. Snehashish Ghosh was a panelist.

The talk titled, “Is social media credible?” comprising a panel of professionals from various media houses from across India, was held as a part of the alumni reunion at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) recently.

The panel included Snehashish Ghosh, a policy associate at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, Nelson Moses, who has had stints with numerous media houses and now works at Yahoo, Subhash Rai, web editor of the Economic and Political Weekly, and Tresa Morera, the deputy editor of the global online desk at Reuters, Bangalore.

The discussion, moderated by Professor Mark Austin of IIJNM, revolved around the crucial issues surrounding the Indian media industry and the use of social media.

Talking points included the role social media like Twitter and Facebook played in populist movements across the Middle East, such as the Arab Spring and also the exodus of people of Manipuri and Assamese descent from Bangalore last year, due to a series of phone messages which purportedly threatened them with violence.Other issues covered in the discussion were whether bloggers could be cited as credible sources of information and also if their roles in shaping public perception was influencing how media houses and journalists function.

During the course of the discussion, which centered around the drawbacks of a digitally interlinked media landscape, Subhash Rai, said that though it was clearly the work of “right-wing fundamental elements” which led to the circulation of provocative messages against people from the north eastern part of the country, the incident also pointed to the failure of neoliberalism in the Indian context.

“Journalists are one of the beneficiaries of neoliberalism,” said Shubash Rai, while arguing that often, urban concerns take precedence over more

pressing issues occurring outside the big cities, leading to these issues either not being reported or not given the same importance. “For example, nobody is reporting the agrarian crisis,” he said.

Tresa Morera, an IIJNM alumna, said that she believed that “transparency” in the Indian media, and a series of “checks and balances” within media organizations could help in better reporting by the media.

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