An afterthought on Harsha’s comments on exclusion of blogs from the media content study during the period of Royal Rule in Nepal.
Khoj Patrakarita Kendra (Centre for Investigative Journalism) has published a book, Sankatkalma Samachar(News during Emergency ). It is a content analysis of main print media in Nepal for three months of the state of emergency. It also includes the scenario of FM radios. But it has left online media.
All Nepali bloggers will agree that blogs influence in the country is very little; but bloggers like me who blogged during the King’s direct rule will also agree that during the period blogs were something unavoidable â€“ and all those with internet access will at least visit blogs â€“ mostly United We Blog! and Mero Sansar, frequently.
The power of blogs was realized by everyone. Beginning of Chaubise â€“ the blog from the 24 detainees at Duwakot barracks that included all prominent figures like Laxman Prasad Aryal, Kanak Mani Dixit, Daman Nath Dhungana and Madhu Ghimire, can be an example.
International media covered blogs as the front runners in dispatching uncensored news from the country but once the people’s movement gained the momentum and then the mainstream media defied the censorship publishing pro-democracy thoughts â€“ long after blogs did so â€“ blogs went into backstage. Of course, blogs were still quicker than MSM.
In April, I was invited to participate in a conference in Manila. The theme of the conference was Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace and Kunda Dixit, the editor of Nepali Times, was among the panelist and his presentation was titled ‘Virtual Freedom in Nepal: How to Protect a Country From Disappearing‘. It was a good presentation and it talked about the situation of Nepali media and how they defied the tight censorship and the advantages and disadvantages of internet as a medium.
I was little disappointed when the mention of blogs came in the last slide (the presentation itself only has 9 slides). And, he just said those sites were also dispatched news from Nepal.
From Manila, I went to Singapore for a three-day tour and I stayed with my friends and found that whoever Nepali I visit there had either UWB! or Mero Sansar as their homepage on the browser. (This was probably one of the early moments when I realized that blogs were big!).
And, this is true for bloggers now too. Despite the world taking the blogs as a powerful grassroot medium, Nepali journalists and researchers are not either intentionally leaving them out or do not want to accept the fact that blogs are a medium.
This, for me, is not surprising however. Because we tend to accept things late and do not want to step in the new territory easily and then why would a MSM expert will want to go from zero to learn about new technology?
[tags]nepal, media, blog, blogging, mainstream[/tags]