What’s in the news these days?

by meeta | 16 comments | 2,695 views | Add comment

Me! Uh…maybe not. So, if some of you read this DNA article “Now you can earn while you blog“, and were confused by the name of the author of this movie review site, you were right.

I know wogma is not really the forum for me to talk about the state of journalism, but this one made me laugh and irked me too, a bit more than usual. So, I couldn’t keep it from you, dear readers. But, I completely understand if you aren’t interested.

Ideasmithy (who’s named as wogma’s author in the article), writes with passion about relationships, the city, and life in general. She’s NOT married and has been quoted as having a husband. Fortunately, we are good friends and were able to sort it out as soon as we read it. Both of us left comments on the site, which never saw the light of pixels on screens.

Here’s I think what happened, Lheny (Lhendup Bhutia), the ‘journalist’ who wrote this article, interviewed a bunch of bloggers (irrespective of whether or not they are earning from their blog). And managed to mix 2 or 3 interviews up. I say 3 because neither Ideasmithy nor I make Rs. 15,000 from our blogs. And neither of us said a couple of lines from the article, like

“I have grander visions”, says she, as she now blogs on relationships and the like in another blog. “I think such a blog is extremely viable for the market.”

Granted, the mistake was corrected when I checked a few hours ago (more than 48 hours after I saw the article first). But, who reads an article from a couple of days ago? And what about the printed article? The damage is done. (By the way, now there’s no name! I’m just ‘another popular blogger’, looks like Lheny lost his notes.) Turns out Lheny did call Ideasmithy, was more or less unapologetic or pseudo apologetic about the error. Direct quote from Ideasmithy about how the conversation went -

Lheny - “I did reference it. Didn’t you say you wrote about movies and your kids? Oh, I just confused, that’s all” and
“Anyway people who read your blog will know that I just made a mistake thats’ all” and
“I’ll change the online version.”
Ideasmithy - “Lheny, the main damage is in the newspapers, that’s where the big readership is, isn’t it?”
Lheny - “Yes but our online version is quite popular too.”

Somewhere in the conversation he also mentioned that “Meetu told me not to use her name too”. I told him not to use my full name! Anyways…

Mistakes happen. It’s alright. But this is the second time DNA Mumbai is doing something like this to me/wogma. And of course, there was this goof-up where the wrong site was linked to instead of wogma.

Oh well…I’m sure it means the law of averages look favorable now…next media mention will have a more efficient, aware and responsible person doing the writing.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Comments (16)

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Shefaly:

This person is not a journalist. Journalists do not 'mix up interviews'. They research and double-check. When they make mistakes, they apologise or at least their editors do. How hard is it to check back on a blog who the writer is?

Alas, to me and to many others (including a man who launched a high profile glossy in India recently), this poorly-researched article - which now specifies no author for WOGMA at all - is just another in the long line of poorly researched and badly written articles passing for 'journalism' in India. It is harder and harder to parse 'news' and whatever passes for reportage in India.

And the data she cites? Interesting in itself. Guy Kawasaki who is in the world's top bloggers, made US$ 3200 in his first year of blogging. No donations included. Can donations be counted as income? Let's not even get started on the semantics of business metrics.

I got here from Ideasmithy's tweet. Interesting blog indeed. Pity I get to no Hindi films at all. The nearest cinema is 1h away on train or nearly 2h of driving and dodging traffic. So I wait for DVDs by which time all stories are widely known :-/

meetu:

Shefaly, couldn't agree with you more on the state of journalism or even reporting or what makes it in the news these days. So, don't even know whether I should be proud of being in the papers, when the next news could be about some celebrity sneezing!

Thanks for stopping by Shefaly! Shame that not only do you have to watch hindi movies on DVD, you also know the story before hand. Ouch!

Shefaly:

Meetu:

As I said, we parse a lot of news. But what happens to those - also called 'foreign investors' - who do have the complicated cultural context to help them along? :-(

As for films, well, as we know there are only 7 basic plots. I watch films in several genres and languages, so Hindi cinema is a small part and the bit I miss the least, although recent films have been very good. I saw 'Maine Gandhi ko nahin mara' recently and I have 'Astitva' in my LoveFilm queue. I actually like to know a bit of the story ahead ;-)

Shefaly:

Uh-huh... who do NOT have. Sorry about the typo.

Deep Ganatra:

One thing I did not understand, they are saying that this Jim Karter guy earned 70K USD last month.. but where is the proof? He had same kind of thing in Mumbai Blogcamp too but I don's see any reason to believe without the proof.

And when it comes to newspapers, they should have the proof in their hand which says that the information they have received is correct.

I would simple call this as careless journalism.

Regards,
Deep

meetu:

lol, Deep!! Isn't that asking for too much!? Research and all? :D

Mistakes, misquotes, whither journalism? | DesiPun:

[...] neither idea Smith nor Meetu had made, about making money from blogs, were attributed to Meetu, who denies making any such remarks.  Comments on the article that both bloggers left, correcting the errors, have not been [...]

Gautam:

Hi,

Am one of the bloggers who's quoted in the story and (thankfully!) been not so misquoted - except for the fact that says I get invites for "press conferences" whereas I said I get invites to "conferences and emails of Press releases" :-)

meetu:

Hey Gautam, I think you deserve heartiest congratulations! Anyway I think DNA doesn't love any other blogger as they love me ;)

Deep Ganatra:

Hi Meetu,

Yes it is too much but it is required if the data is being printed in the newspaper. If it was matter of like 20K to 30K INR a month, then there is no need for research and all, even couple of lakhs a month is fine too but when the question of USD 70K comes.. i.e. around 29 Lakhs INR a month.. the research should come in place.. coz when they show some blogger earning so much a month.. there are going to be many people making decisions on what is printed in the newspaper.

So this is going to be like showing the people the wrong information and misleading them.

But yea, that was my take..

cheers
Deep

meetu:

Deep, I was being extremely sarcastic when i said 'that's asking for too much'. I think whether big numbers are involved or small one has to be responsible for what one is writing about. And everyone is allowed mistakes, but you should at the very least be apologetic if not take measures to correct your mistake. Oh well...

the mad momma:

you know - the media is always debating - how accurate should blogs be? should blogs be held responsible yaada yaada.

sometimes they need to stop and look at the crap they print. as shefaly said - its a poor journlist who actually mizes up a bunch of quotes. and then isnt suitably apologetic. if they dont think of it as a glaring error - it shows what their stand on quality is.

i think its shameful that they didnt let your comments show up on the online version.

Melody:

Hey Gorgeous,

Definitely the shoddiest bit of journalism I've seen in a while. And it's sad that this has happened to you once before.

I say next time ask the journalist to send you a copy of the quote BEFORE they print.

Neha from the HT was most professional and obliged me when I asked her to send me the quote before they printed it. It's safer for them that way too.

Also, not completely off the point, congrats on being mentioned, even if in this shoddy fashion.

Hugs,

Mell

PS: WHEN oh WHEN are we meeting again?!!

meetu:

most certainly it is, the mad momma. Just the whole episode(s) is annoying. I'm plain trying to ignore. Even shaking your head in despair while reading the morning newspaper at all the obvious errors is redundant these days. So fuming on this is just energy wasted when I've so many other things to do...Thanks for stopping by.

Mel!!! Hello there. Thanks for the tip, will certainly keep that in mind.
ps. soon-soon, I promise!

Roy Daniel DSilva:

You know what irks me more.. organizations that say people with .blogspot.com and .wordpress.com blogs as 'professional bloggers'. I think, the least people can do is find out what a 'professional blogger' is!

meetu:

@Roy what is a "professional blogger"?

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