Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Human Intelligence or Dumb Aggregation

Well, I've been looking all along for my perfect news source. I tried TOI's website, decided against it because of all the sleaze and modeling ads (Neelima, 20, Delhi, Mamta, 18, Mumbai. Reminds me of another category of websites I visited... I mean my friends visited back in College..). Next I moved my main news source to ibnlive. CNN-IBN I thought would be a reliable source since CNN is quite good at reporting (atleast I think so, I'm not sure if my American friends agree), but CNN-IBN turned out to be a disaster. Firstly, they were highly biased during the elections and was too sensationalist. Never once did they try to really report on facts and real issues. Timesnow was a definite no-no because their chief editor is an self-righteous, opinionated ass who couldn't understand what good journalism was if it kicked him in the head! Overall, here are the problems I had with the mainstream news sources:
  • They tracked too few stories. They always had only 6-8 stories and kept getting reactions, opinions, SMS polls and controversies around these same stories. I liked reading my newspapers because they were a good mix of different stories. I still get TOI at home, but that's mainly because my wife likes their dirt the best!
  • Absolutely everything is Breaking news. Leander Paes comes back to India; Rahul Gandhi itches nose; Dhoni didn't smile at Sehwag; Aliens are stealing our cattle and amazingly yesterday "An English poodle gets stuck in a drainpipe in the UK"! Need I say more.
  • There were more opinions expressed than facts reported. Overall, I began to get very confused as to what was really said by people and what these 'eminent' editors in chief interpreted. Everyone from Nitish Kumar to A.R. Rahman is misquoted and blown out of proportion. Barkha Dutt, someone I had a tremendous amount of respect for at one point has turned into a tabloid journalist! She's now trying to grow controversy where there is none. (Might I add that she's still miles better than that other editor-in-chief I mentioned above) Whatever happened to "Just the facts"! Nothing more. Nothing less
  • There is a very prominent bias amongst these TV channels, reporting some news repeatedly and shutting out others completely.The Teesta Seetalvad fabrication as reported in the Judicial Inquiry report. Why hide such a thing? Nobody reported it when Pramod Muthalik apologized for the Mangalore incident - I heard some logic that that would have made him look more benign in the public eyes! Frankly, that's insulting my intelligence. I want to know all the facts. I'll make my own decisions, thank you very much!
That's why I settled on my latest news source. Dumb Aggregation rather than Human 'Editorial' Intelligence picking out what I should hear. Google News Zindabad! Now I get varied news (Keep clicking 'More' and you keep getting more unique stories) aggregated from different sources (including some I mention above). So nobody can prefilter my news. It's highly unlikely that absolutely no sources of google report on a newsworthy item. Plus gives me newer sources that I've never heard off before! And what's the best? I have no intrusive ads!


sonalika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sonalika said...

Well..I cudnt agree more! :)

masood said...

Very well written. Agree completely.