Recently, the first-ever International Urdu Bloggers Conference 2013 was held at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) that was organised by the Asian Canadian Journalists Association (ACJA). The reason why a business forum was chosen to deliver the message of the blogging community was to make aware the business community that they do not need to learn English or any other language to use modern technology, because ideas and solutions are available in Urdu all due to the efforts of Urdu bloggers. This view point was expressed by Mohsin Abbas, the President of the ACJA.
Over the recent few years, blogging has gained much importance due to the opportunity it provides as an alternative media. The points where mainstream media fails, blogging never does because it is written independently and with passion on various aspects of society and life. In this, language is no barrier. ACJA has plans of conducting many such conferences annually across different cities in Pakistan that will provide platform to Urdu bloggers and promote their work through networking.
Everywhere in the world, local bloggers create changes and join active debates on the issues of importance without thinking of learning English because they do it all in their own language. Urdu blogging in Pakistan is one such way where people who often get left behind from sharing their opinions because they don’t use English will have no problems all due to social media’s potential to cross that kind of focus. There were Urdu bloggers from across Pakistan who participated in this first-ever Urdu blogging conference in the country that also allowed them to see their strength as a community.
It is very much necessary that blogging remain free of any restrictions and freedom of expression be maintained completely on social media, which as past many instances have shown is not always the case. The governments all around the world are guilty of not giving that complete power to individuals and citizens to voice their opinions without fear or consequences.
Although there have not been any controversial cases where bloggers have been punished as in the Middle East and India, but it has been seen that some bloggers do start up their blogs with an agenda to voice only selected points of view rejecting others to share an alternative or critical perspective on something they don’t agree with.
Bloggers are online journalists of a different sort because they have words and power beyond the broadcasting media, which is telecasted only in a few places, whereas a blog can be accessed from any place on the planet. This is why social media has grown much for the journalist community as an alternative media.
More than the business side of blogging, it is necessary that truth be given high priority than what is more in demand, because when media listens to what an audience wants to know, it fails to do its part of the responsibility of spreading information.
Unlike the class bias that exists in the Pakistani media that often seems to work for the few and the elite, rather than the majority and the down-trodden, social media and blogging does not need language or traditions differences to make it an issue. Thus, it allows a variety of points of views to pour in and a diversity of opinion spectrum to be reflected.