Pramit Singh gives a comprehensive overview of blogging history – and the blogging scene – in India.
During the Mumbai Terror attacks, a
blog started by was perhaps the first place to provide useful links and phone numbers. During the unprecedented Bihar Floods in August 2008, a blog was the first site providing useful information. During the Tsunami in December 2004, another blog came to the rescue. I can go on. Dina Mehta
My point is:
Indian blogs have proven themselves time and time again when it comes to providing timely information before anyone else. Continue reading →
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Pramit Singh on the case of blogger Chetan Kunte: apparently forced to take down a blog post by a news organisation for criticising their coverage of the Mumbai attacks. Continue reading →
Statement on Chetan Kunte
Here’s a clever move:
Indian TV station NDTV, and specifically broadcaster Barkha Dutt, is criticised for coverage of the Mumbai attacks. As
Gaurav Mishra describes it:
“Bloggers were scathing in their criticism of Barkha Dutt’s sensationalistic coverage of the 11/26 Mumbai terror attack, accusing her of broadcasting sensitive information about the position of hostages and security troops, sensationalizing the news coverage, and being borderline hysterical, in general. The National Security Guard, the Naval Chief, and the Information & Broadcasting Ministry had also criticized Indian news television coverage of the crisis. This groundswell of criticism prompted mainstream media to join in ( The Hindu, The Indian Express) and forced Barkha Dutt and NDTV to go on the defensive ( LiveMint).” Amid this “groundswell of opinion”, NDTV appears to threaten one of those critics – the blogger Chetan Kunte – with legal action.
Kunte pulls his blog post and replaces it with
a retraction statement (image above) that sounds as if it’s been dictated by someone else’s lawyers. Indian blogosphere
erupts in outrage, and either links to a Google cache of that withdrawn blog post, or republishes it entirely. Not to mention critically discussing the TV station’s coverage once again.
Lesson to news organisations: your viewers are your distributors now. Suing them is not good management. Nor is it good for freedom of speech – something you might find useful yourselves in the future.