theorycast.18 :: Mainstream media vs. the Bloggers?


Thanks to Stephen Colbert, I’ve started to make compelling headlines by ending them with question marks? I’m joking of course… exclaimation marks work better don’t they!!

What’s the Story Morning Glory?
After seeing media conglomerates Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp enter the blogosphere and staking their claim as being new media centric, I got the impression that they were doing it all wrong. I’m talking about STOMP (by The Straits Times, SPH) and BlogTV.sg (by Mediacorp). Stomp systematically turned celebrities into bloggers and some like me cried foul since this was liken to the fake blogs phenomena (or blogs manufactured for marketing). With the topic of their first episode as “Blogging : the ‘ME’ generation”, the hosts for BlogTV gave me the impression that they think of blogs as solely online personal diaries catering to the egotistical. I must say that Ms. Lin addressed this pretty well, though I frankly don’t think the Flying Dutchman really gets it yet. I’ll give both ventures the benefit of the doubt for now, since we’ve all had to go through the same learning curve anyway.

Why the media frenzy on blogs?
With an ever increasing demographic migrating their attention from passive mainstream media to the social space known as the Internet, both media corporations have been competing to engage this new market of active participants / creators of new media. Tapping on content derived from the buzz in the blogosphere, these two recent media ventures seek to produce a series of blog posts, podcasts, photos, and video clips in hopes to attract higher viewership. In essence, I believe that they each have a two pronged approach: They are trying to participate the blogosphere (where everyone is) and engage users across various media, such as the web, newspapers, televisions, cellphones, etc (where it’s harder to avoid). This does seems to count as a form of cross-media production.

So what’s this videocast about?
I tested my initial impression by calling in two fellow bloggers from differing backgrounds to give me their point of views. Brennan wrote about his dismay with the mainstream media’s attempt at engaging bloggers, while the RamblingLibrarian has always been no stranger to corporate reactions to new edges (e.g. blogs, podcasting). While I sit centerstage, I share my point of view as a blogger who hopes to see the mainstream media take social responsibility for better content (i.e. stuff that makes a difference), rather that to simply reproduce fluff to attract viewership, perpetuating a negative stereotype of bloggers to the last mile of uninitiated Singaporeans. To me, blogs are as varied as the Internet itself, and likewise, there are the the good and the bad. As a recent PEW Internet research has shown, there is really no such thing as a typical blogger, but rather multiple genres of blogs driven by individuals of diverse motivations.

What have I learnt from all this?
Just as we were once new to the blogosphere, companies in the mainstream media are also taking baby steps to figure out what works and what doesn’t. There’s a definite learning curve we all go through when it comes to blogging so it’s necessary to give some leeway for experimentation. By starting with low brow content, these ventures stand a better chance of gaining viewership (i.e. popularity) which is important since they probably measure their success based on the amount of ad revenue earned. There are plenty more issues which were discussed in this 43min video, but that was one of the more salient points we talked about.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted October 21, 2006 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    local media has always been painfully lame and sterotypical. I don’t share your optimisim dude, social responsibility is like a a century away,

    anyw i’ve moved from vineyarddreams dude, update yr links? thks.

  2. Posted October 21, 2006 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Couple of Mac Rebels using iChat to plot their next big conspiracy :P

  3. Posted October 23, 2006 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    “headlines by ending them with question marks”

    I thought that was more of Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show?

    “The Question Mark: A prophylactic protecting Fox News from anything it might contract during its extensive GOP c**k sucking?

  4. Posted October 23, 2006 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Hou: Perhaps you’r right… It’s definitely either from Colbert or Jon, but yes, it’s Fox News’ way for covering their asses. Was watching the news during lunch at the eatery and there they were at it again. :P

  5. Lala
    Posted October 25, 2006 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Who cares… what can mainstream media do about bloggers? STOP them?? NO, no matter what mainstream media do… they are not going to stop blogger or what people are blogging about…

  6. Posted March 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    not a bad post. :) ive tried vidblog too! have a good day!

  7. Posted March 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    not a bad post. :) ive tried vidblog too! have a good day!

  8. Posted March 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    not a bad post. :) ive tried vidblog too! have a good day!

One Trackback

  1. […] If you’re interested to know how Singapore’s news media is performing, see Bernard Leong’s comprehensive overview of the state of citizen journalism in Singapore. For those who just want quick bites, the Rambling Librarian (aka Ivan Chew) summarized his points into useful links. Ivan also remind us of a three-way video iChat interview we conducted last year relating to “mainstream media and the blogosphere” (Ivan Chew, Brennan and me). […]