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A suggestion for upcoming news and opinion websites and blogs

 

Mainstream media websites are obsessed with the outdated idea of not linking out to content. This is a tactic from the last decade and serves no useful purpose. The lack of adequate education of journalists fails to leverage the medium in some miserly reluctance to acknowledge. We also see it in the reporting of sources as “a news channel” rather than naming the source and crediting it.

Good digital journalism, on the contrary provides robust linking to sources for the story, relevant information that add dimension to it for the curious reader to develop a larger picture.

In an age when search engines and social networks are all set to control visibility on the internet, your voice is only as independent as the neutrality with which it will reach people and the government has undisclosed deals with those controlling the internet.

Even as alarm grows over the shrinking neutrality of the internet, I see very few efforts in Indian media to counter it.

My suggestion is that upcoming digital media – particularly news and opinion – with the highest risk of censorship through visibility molding future proof themselves with enhanced linking to each other, to sources, smaller blogs and creating a network of links between excellent content. Particularly content that is at risk of being silenced.

It helps the reader form a more comprehensive view if a dialogue can be built across opinion pieces, enhancing, refuting, adding dimension and generally refining and taking public opinion to more nuanced views than all sites publishing their own mandatory “one excellent opinion piece oncurrent national outrage” – or for that matter, building a dialogue within your sites too.

This above is particularly important to counter growing repression, arbitrarily curtailed rights, narrowed thinking and kneejerkism shrinking the space for depth and richness in public thinking. Naturally, this is stupidifying society and needs combating unless we want to spiral into oblivion riding frustrations and snap judgments.

This is useful today, but it will be desperately required in our future for survival itself. It is a heads up and a suggestion. If you think it has merit, you could use it as you see fit.

Don’t remain at the mercy of gatekeepers of access setting up their shops.

It is probably a good idea to go back to good old blogging ethics of forming communities, building dialogue.

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