In the beginning was the word - Why journos blog
It was coming all along. Someone was bound to pick up that question and knock it at our web-faces. SOme one did pick up that question. Actually, two people did.
Which is why I'm writing about this today, instead of the review of The Terminal (by Steven Speilberg) that I was eager to write about. Tom Hanks plays a Krakozhian national stranded in JFK airport, NYC - again award winning (Check out lazy geek's review, meanwhile). Mine, will have to wait, am afraid.
To give the devil its due ( ;P ), Ravi started it. He asked the question. Rather, he made the statement. Read it on his blog - about journalists blogging. And this morning, another friend of mine, just introduced to the concept of blogging, wondered why my "glog" (!! yeah, these people do exist!!) was so full of adjectives.
Why, indeed! In fact, why do I write at all? I mean, on a blog. Considering I'm a journalist and have to write for my supper, rasam and brinjal. Would I have not had enough? With words?
If this were one of those black and white movies, i'd start with those amazing vortex kinda thingies, concentric circles that spin and let you know a flashback's going to happen (watch
Kung Pow for the ultimate flashback rip off). The best place to start is the beginning, isn't it?
Not really. Not always. Besides, often you don't remember the beginning. Let's take this in media res, then. From the middle.
What i'm trying to say is that I'm a journalist because I never wanted to be anything else. And why I say middle is because for a very negligible period of my life I wanted to be a space scientist. It doesn't count.
I wanted to be a journalist, in the pre-Barkha Dutt, pre-mike totting, camera- rolling days, basically before journalism got glamourous. That makes me sound old, but the fact is historians will say glam crept up on journalism say five-six years ago. But it's true I belong to the time warp that believed journos were khadi-wearing, bespectacled, jolna-totting, male blokes.
But that's not why I got in. Even then, I believed that the image was a cliche. I'd be a journalist, but I would'nt be that dowdy type, I told myself. Mostly, I wanted to be a journalist because I believed it was the only profession which would allow me to do what I most wanted to - write. Sincerely, I wanted to write to make a difference, move people, if not mountains, to change. Smirking? But, I was young enough to believe that.
Now, I understand, it is mostly a fallacy. You don't get to WRITE in journalism, atleast not the way you imagined you could. I could speak for myself, but then again, a lot of my brethren would agree that their copies are edited. I guess we din't reckon with this bug bear called the DESK, or editorial policy when we signed up on the roster.
But here we are, writing to policies, deadlines, space requirements and word counts.
That is primarily why we blog, I think. It certainly is why I blog. Cos in the world wide web, in my corner of it, there is no editorial policy, or if there is, I decide it: I'm my own editor. No word limits either, no emphasis on facts, on steering clear of opinion or space-page layout problems.
It allows me to do what I thought, quite naively, that I could do with journalism - to write.
I guess all of us do it because of that. But for us, it is because with blogs, we REALLY write.
If I've come off like its a drag working, I din't mean to. I love what I'm doing and I would not really care to do anything else. However, when you sit at office, eight times of ten, thumping inanities on your computer, it will make a huge difference to pull the plug, get on the blog, write exactly what you want to and be sure that it will be published too!
And of course. In the beginning, and the end, there is only The Word.