This morning I woke up to history – a blog had made the front page of a Jamaican newspaper! No – it gets better – it made the front page of the Sunday paper. In an era of online newspapers – I only buy the paper once a week – Sunday. Judging from the sheer increase in newspaper sellers on Sunday, I know I am not alone! Until the entirety of Sunday papers are put online, I will continue to buy Sunday papers, but I digress.
Annie Paul’s – blogger on Active Voice anniepaulose.wordpress.com – made the front page. For weeks, Jamaicans have been subjected to news stories about Dog Paw and his gang, including to the freeing of his lieutenant by the police!! – but again I digress. Yet it only said the gang was notorious; that they were persons of interest and the police were looking for them. However, the story was never delved into – where did these men come from? Did they emerge from the womb armed? Why did they take this life turn – one constantly filled with the danger of detection and capture? The media even missed obvious stories – the one about Leah. Annie Paul went further – she looked for non-obvious story – Dog Paw, Diana McCauley and the link with Dog Heart . A blogger started putting clothes on a story Jamaicans hear ad nauseum of the bad men. The original post is at http://bit.ly/gJwPPM and the Observer story at http://bit.ly/ftAXQK
They are two key points to be gotten from this historic development:
- traditional media has embraced electronic/social media. True, the newspapers have gone online; gotten twitter accounts and
Facebook pages – but was it an exchange of information? One gets the impression that the point was to get information out to us, the readers. Today, they put an audience member’s information and story and gave it pride of place – with full acknowledgment. I have seen stories before taken/culled from local blogs – but with no credit given. There was a story about the Facebook fanbase of jamaicansmusic.com surpassing that of Digicel Jamaica turning up in the papers (http://bit.ly/dSGKz1) without any acknowledgment to Silicon Caribe (http://bit.ly/hfuGNj) – who wrote the piece 6 days before. Maybe it was coincidence.
- it is not a zero sum game. It is not ‘new’ media vs. traditional media. It is reaping the benefits of both types. Would I want all newspapers to become a twitter timeline? No, I like the stories as well as the headlines. Would I want bloggers to replace newspapers? No, I like the focus of bloggers and the broad sweep of newspapers though in-depth analysis in newspaper articles would be great, but I digress.
The title of this article is a quote from Annie Paul herself this morning in response to my congrats a la Twitter. She also sums up this moment best – ” what the Jamaican media is realizing belatedly is that blogs contain news too…stories they’ve overlooked are buried in blogs”