Citizen journalism is a misleading term, aimed at giving traditional journalists some serious creeps and undermining the authenticity of common man’s freedom of speech.
A common person hasn’t got any control over the media conglomerates. He hasn’t much say in the policies and propensities of TV/Radio channels, newspapers or magazines. Blogging, POD-casting and other form of user-generated content (UGC) is in vogue in the west, but in almost 11 million internet users in Pakistan, very few are aware of this phenomenon, and very very few take part in UGC. Also the existing paper/electronic media including Spider, doesn’t throw that much spotlight on this new Oracle, but they can’t ignore it altogether.
April 2007 issue of Spider throws a dim light on so-called “Citizen Journalism.” They tried to encompass a broad topic in just 4 to 5 articles in vain. Lets see what they have done this time.
Title: Titles have always remained the Achilles heal for Spider. This time it was as bad as before.
Until the page 38 from the total of some 121 or so pages of Spider, there is nothing to write home about. Then starts the cover story.
Cover Story: Faras Ghani’s DIY citizen journalism (CJ) was good but the concluding paragraph was terrible. Khawer Amir Khan’s smart article with a smart title surfaced some salient and thought-provoking points. Especially the high-lighted point that “Blogs have gotten so popular that even major prit and broadcast journalists have their own blogs.” Now Spider isn’t a major outfit or its journalists aren’t that major to have some popular and active blogs. Mohsin Siddiqui’s Amateur Hour tried to draw line between journalism and Citizen’s freedom of speech.
Software Review: If you want to have a look at only one Office 2007 review, then read Faras Ghanis this piece.
How-To: Ali Fareed, has lucidly and plainly described the confusing process of DVD ripping.
E-Security: At last after so many futile and scratching attempts Nizar Diamond Ali has produced something of a moderate value. His discussion about open or closed security issues has got some valuable insights, though they are not that much unique.
Tech Review: The intro to Trakker (pvt.) Ltd’s new service, the GPS based car navigation system is a very welcome puff.
Feature: I presumable suspect, she selected “Digital Organization” for her feature, because Humna Ishtiaq hadn’t anything better to write upon.
Music: If you are a music buff and always wanted to have your own little studio, please don’t, I repeat, don’t read this article by Madeeha Syed. You wont go far.
Website Review: Zaheer Alam Kidwai has done a very constructive review of a well-thought site.
Humor: I still mourn, why I ever wasted some precious 5 or 6 minutes reading the garbage written by David Ford. Very pathetic piece.
Hard Talk: Humza Mudassir, will you ever disappoint and allow me a leer?
Kidzone: Like a kid, I pulled a face, and went to next article without reading this section.
Gadget and Gizmos: Some cool nifty tools to play with.
Entertainment: Now, when a site like “Google Fight” is mentioned here, the section becomes “cant-be-so-bad”.
Others: Graffiti and Geekspeak also warmed the feelings.
Last Byte: The last and the least was a strangely useless piece by Mohsin Siddiqui. Only the cartoons were up to the mark.
Lets wait for the next issue of our beloved Spider.