The Hoot on Mediaah!

Trust Sevanti Ninan to put the debate over Mediaah! into perspective:
“In the blogosphere the theme song is that a brave, independent blog is being snuffed out by Big Media. Come on! Make a noise! Save it! Freedom of speech is under threat.
The thing about free speech though, is that it does not come for free. Its price, at the very least is a lawyer’s fees. Pradyuman Maheshwari was offering no holds barred commentary on the media. If you are no holds barred, it stands to reason does it not, that the guy you are targeting will also be no holds barred? You have to be prepared for that, and cover your flanks. Or you have to duck and become subversive. The online world has a dozen methods of attack without being traced or pinned down. He should have tried some of them.”
Point one: Pradyuman has to be prepared to stand and fight for his blog. I understand how demoralising it can be to be attacked, but if you check out the lawyer’s letter, you begin to think that he should have replied rather than folded.
Point two: Sevanti also says, “So was Mediaah! defamatory? Well, it carried language and insinuation that mainstream publications would not.”
This is kind of interesting, because she’s put her finger on what makes blogs different: both more challenging and more open than mainstream media, because they’re unfiltered, but also sometimes less responsible, more vulnerable. The whole point of running a mediawatch blog rather than a column in the papers was presumably to take the gloves off and run things that mainstream publications would not. But then that brings us back to point one; if you punch that hard, someone’s going to punch back. You need to be willing to fish a few other moves out of the old arsenal.

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