TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines
his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...
BLOGGER COMMITS JOURNALISM
I read with amazement and amusement how Jeff
Ooi gets himself branded as a small-minded journalist wannabe with an
agenda. While I readily agree that some of the un-reined comments on his blog
are unsubstantiated and lopsided, many of the accusations hurled at him are unwarranted.
I know Jeff
personally but not well enough to understand his motive and intentions. All I
know is that he is driven by this unwavering sense of duty to unmask what he sees
as hypocrisies and half-truths. He has no paymasters, no political masters, lawyers
on retainer nor ambitions of becoming a journalist. What he has is rapidly increasing
readership (and overheads).
you follow his blog long enough, you would have realised that Jeff rarely elucidates
an outright opinion. He quotes a couple of paragraphs; gives his brief take and
let his readers take up the cudgels. It is through this online interaction, that
a collective opinion is shaped and formed. The primary attraction of his blog
is the interactivity and spontaneity of the feedback system, which he cleverly
or unwisely capitalises on. The mostly unmoderated commenting system allowed many
vile and vicious personal attacks to slip through, unfortunately.
his own admission, his agenda is to provoke discussion and create awareness on
issues that affect Joe Public. Through this uncharted course he veers precariously,
crossing swords with powerful adversaries and even friends. Journalist Oon Yeoh,
once described him as a self-appointed media watchdog of the pit bull breed. When
Jeff bites, he doesn't let go. It is this unrelenting fervour that sometimes clouds
his objectivity and usually unbiased mind, in my opinion.
am privileged too, to count many seasoned and respected journalists as friends.
I recognise the perimeter they operate within and the rules they play by. In trying
to understand their mindset, I could gauge that several of them consider Jeff
a rogue reporter from the outside. Therein lies a subtle paradox or glaring irony.
They dismissed Jeff as a wannabe; yet expect him to adhere to their own ethics
or standards of professionalism. The same standards which Jeff scrutinises and
addition to stepping on toes, he is stepping onto the protected turf of an exclusive
club. Not long ago, only sanctioned media organisations are allowed to publish
opinions, no matter how skewed it may be. The Internet and the emergence of blogs
changed the paradigm irreversibly. Self-publishing has broken the monopoly of
the few, empowered the masses and unleashed information which previously flowed
through narrow and rusty pipes. The source may be different and more abundant
now but the flow remains almost as murky as before. In time, the enlightened minds
will set their own filters or shut off some taps, whether new or old.
are currently over 1000 local
bloggers ranging from passive diarists
to active dissidents. It is a vocal and growing
community of mostly young people who revere the
views of their peers more than those published
in any traditional media. Unwilling or unable
to take cognizance of this groundswell, some choose
to cast bloggers as insignificant pretenders.
Someday soon, that little burger stall will be
selling more burgers than the fancy fast food
restaurant it now stands beside.
New Amateur Journalists Weigh In
Bloggers Commit Journalism
Bloggers Are Rewriting Rules Of Journalism
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© 2004 TV SMITH
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