Bloggers are not journalists: Talat Hussain

No responsibility and no accountability means bloggers are not journalists, says Talat Hussain.

Web Desk July 25, 2012

Reigniting the debate over what really constitutes a journalist in the fast changing digital world, veteran journalist and television show host Talat Hussain made the distinction as clear as possible: no responsibility and no accountability means bloggers are not journalists.

“I have huge respect for bloggers but blogs are hugely opinionated pieces, which is fine, we are used to that, but they are not backed by any sense of accountability or responsibility.”

He explained that while the internet and the digital world had created new groups which "angle" themselves as journalists, the fact is that they “are not.”

Without the burden of accountability, Hussain opined that bloggers and commentators online are “much freer in their ability to analyse general content than journalists or regular run of the mill producers.”

In fact, if anything, those online act as a judge on mainstream journalists in the highly digitised sphere of media.

“They are the ones who have blogs on us, they are the ones who have websites on us - they are the ones who are taking the mickey out of us, which is fine really, but it is a sort of supra independent sphere that has been created by technology.”

Hussain believed that due to the frantic pace of exchanges and communication online, much has to be dumbed down so as to cram information into the limited mediums of communication online.

“There is too much talking and there is too much emphasis on texting and because you have to cram from Twitter to messages, a great thought into 100 words or less, it constrains you to dumb down your thinking.”

But the DawnNews host was optimistic on the internet’s potential to bring about change.

“If you use that [internet] to spread information, timely information that people can use in their daily life and get some result out of it...if you were to use this pathway of information flow for more productive purposes then it can lead to mass change.”

Positive political usage has also been encouraging as Hussain pointed out that “some political parties have used the new means of technology available to expand their memberships, send their messages across.”

“So they [political parties] are doing it. But by and large a lot of idle talk and dumbed down thoughts.”


arcane | 11 years ago | Reply

eehhh typical behaviour, print media journalist said same thing about TV journalist, times' changing, adapt and survive, settle down and stop jumping around different channels.

Muhammad Faizan Ali | 11 years ago | Reply

The major difference between bloggers and Journalists is the matter of professionalism and formalization of industry.

Since blogging has gone through several paradigm shifts from content distributor to a complete revenue business model. So it becomes fairly difficult to clearly to distinguish between the exercises of the right of Freedom to Speech or commercial intents. We have to clearly define the boundaries for blogging for Freedom of expression and business-oriented professional blogging.

Journalism is a complete profession controlled by authorities that establishes certain moral, legal, and ethical boundaries around people practicing Journalism. Journalists get professional training and similar policy-driven rights and responsibilities. Talat Hussain has also emphasized the point that If there is no accountability and responsibility that is not Journalism. Journalists enjoy a special rank in our national system which bloggers don’t. So bloggers are by no means are Journalists, however, they can use blogging as tool to improve their writing and reporting capabilities if they are planning to become professional Journalists.

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