Sunday, October 16, 2005

Now, it's time for some serious stuff ...

The IIPM-induced intensity in blogospheric activity has produced a few absolutely wonderful gems of the serious kind. Let me just point to a couple.

Satya, over at Education in India, examines the way forward from here. He points out, rightly, that UGC's laudable regulations regarding advertisements for higher ed institutions cannot be extended to places like IIPM since they do not have UGC recognition, and nor are they seeking one. He suggests that advertising industry, which follows a model of self-regulation, could ensure certain norms to be followed by ads for educational institutions.

Codelust has some very good advice for bloggers. Here is the key stuff.

[...] [O]ne thing that I have seen time and again is that people always confuse freedom of expression with the freedom from responsibilities.There is this feeling that having the browser between you and the reader somehow empowers you to say anything and then not have any responsibility towards what you just said.


Freedom of expression is not being able to say whatever you want to say. Freedom of expression is being able to say what you want to say, knowing fully well the consequences of your actions. Freedom of expression does not mean that people won't react to what you just said. In a free country, people have an equally valid right to react as it is valid for you to express yourself. Freedom of expression does not guarantee that blogging being the next earth shattering revolution will protect you from hooliganisitc behaviour by the bad boys when you rub them the wrong way. Freedom of expression does not mean that blogging is exempt from the normal rules. Wake up, it is about time you smelled the coffee.

In addition to these two blog posts, Sajan Venniyoor of the Hoot, a media watchdog, has a fair and balanced take on the fight between IIPM and the bloggers. Here is a key quote from this story, titled "David and Goliath -- a virtual parable".

If blogs are to be taken seriously, they should live up to the standards of accountability and reliability of the mainstream media that they so deplore.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I think it's a fair statement to make that bloggers should assume responsibility for their views. In all this IIPM imbroglio what I found most disturbing was not the infringement on blogger's rights to speak out, but by the unethical blackmail of Gaurav's employer, who had nothing to do with his blogging. That was the most disturbing aspect for me. For a corporation to engage in such a juvenile and vindictive practice.

  2. Abi said...

    Gawker, I entirely agree.

    There is one more thing. Let's forget bloggers for a moment, and look at what happened with JAM, which is very much a part of MSM. In the article on IIPM, the reporter says clearly that he sought inputs from IIPM on all his findings, and he got no response. Instead of giving him the facts when he asked them, they sit around for some three months, and threaten to sue Rashmi and JAM now! I think this behaviour sucks, too.