Are blogs just an excuse to be raw and opinionated? [The CIO debate continues]

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Ok this dog refuses to die (Texan term I think) … so the recent controversy is pivoted around this "blog post" – titled " Applies for Knights News Challenge Award" written at CIO Pakistan, which is an official publication within the IDG Network.

I called out on this earlier that "under no definition of News is this news", and that this shows a bit of bias towards that particular company…. especially considering that I know of 7 other companies locally who applied to the grant too but no one really wanted such coverage. I also commented there to ask them about this story.

But forget for a second who wrote this, or why (frankly all I know is "admin" wrote it).

I want to debate a comment reply made by the admin, copied below:

admin on November 12th, 2008 1:16 pm

@Osama – Thanks for stopping by. Ummm… it actually isn’t “news”, especially since it has been posted under the “blog” category. :-) – Secondly, …..

If you like, we can re-publish this in the “news” category and we can have this discussion all over again.

I dont really even care about that story in particular (hence I’ve removed some of the text from the comment)… I just want you guys (yes, ALL OF YOU) to explain to me why being in the "blog" category is different from being in the "news" category.

I’m more than certainly missing something about how "blogs" are defined in this country… because it looks like just like every other thing, our definition doesnt match the definition of… I dunno the REST of the world!

Is a  "blog" another synonym for "I can say whatever I want without any professional credence? Or are they just supposed to be someone’s opinion and hence not supposed to be taken seriously?

Thats funny because at INJO5 at Stanford I dont remember anyone – including the chief editor of GigaOm, VentureBeat, Vint Cerf, and about 300 other professionals from media and tech industries – say that blogs are just something to ignore or discard because its just someones personal opinion?

My view is that you *could* have a blog that is solely for someone’s personal opinion, but (1) it has to be clear on the website WHO that person is (2) none of those personal opinions should be aggregated into the front page of the website along with all the other news items, which IS doing, and hence IS expecting its audience to treat that blog post seriously.

Also, I personally really dont think blogs are just something to consider lightly… they’re not "opinions" but "perspectives" written from a first-person type informal prose. There is a big, big, difference between the two.

But, heck… seems like I dont know much about New Media…right?

So why dont you all tell me what blogs are supposed to be in Pakistan so that we can all on the same page here.

Facebook comments:


  • A blog could be anything as long as it is consistent about it. If somebody wants to be the Paki version of valleywag, its their choice.
    If any serious magazine/blog injects a press press release in a dozen news items in an attempt to pass it off as news – without full disclosures/with alleged vested interests – they risk losing credibility in the eyes of the people who notice, which might result in losing readership.
    I think that is probably all there is to it, as we do not exactly have a mandatory code of ethics with a “Thou shalt not abuse your readers’ valuable reading time” commandment. That’s probably the good thing about blogs, there are no ‘rules of the game’

    I remember receiving “CNN Breaking News” alerts in my email 5 years ago – about firemen rescuing cats from trees :-)

    [Disclosure: I know Sharjeel for the last 8-10 years, but the above is my unbiased opinion :-) ]

  • I wonder if there is a policy at CIO Pakistan that differs content placement on the blog or the main site.

    Sometimes, mainstream media sites tend to treat the blog as a channel for news items that could not make it to the main site. Others succumb to the relentless pursuit of updating blogs and fill it with any thing.

    It would have been news for me if I had been given a list of all the companies looking for grants.

  • @reallyvirtual… lol you sound like you’re trembling while giving that disclaimer. “And they call me the monster?!”

    @Adnan… yes thats the funny thing about mainstream media here. I dont see it happening anywhere else in the world but a ‘blog’ in mainstream media in pk is just something where the rules dont apply.

  • @Osama: OMG do you have a camera in my room?! 😀

  • I like

    Disclaimer: I have studied with Sharjeel in FAST and have known him for many years. We have also taken few courses together and have partnered for projects. Also I have taken a course from Dr. Umar Saif in LUMS and apparently he knows me by name but my above expressed opinion, I swear, is totally unbiased.

    I hope that helps 😉

  • Blog standards should be the same regardless of whether they are Pakistani or not. Of course professional blogs have to be held to higher standards than your average personal blog.

    There is always going to be personal opinion (some will say bias) on the blogs – thats what makes it interesting and “new media”. However I believe that the thoughts and beliefs of the writers should not impact the objectivity of blog content.

    All blogs should make their policies clear. Thats what I have done.

    Of course, any personal affiliation/business arrangements should be disclosed.


  • Very nice article!

    I guess you would be setting up a separate blog for yourself then? After all, just because its in ‘General’ category, it doesnt make it a news?

  • Subktageen – GnW’s been a blog that’s more an “intellectual debate” platform than a traditional news one.

    However, as we move more towards become a news provider, I’ve been thinking of setting up an “Editor’s thoughts” section here… sort of like a equivalent to

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