Not On Assignment

A journo's jottings under no deadline pressure (since Jan 1, 2010)

Why do you blog?

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Okay, let me answer the question first.
I blog to keep in touch with writing.
Let me explain.
Earlier, when I was just a reporter, I was prolific, constantly writing one article after the other. In fact, at one of my early journalistic jobs (at a fortnightly city magazine), I once wrote seven of the 13 major articles published in one particular issue. Impressed, the Editor gave me a “issue holiday” – she asked me to take it easy for the next issue and said she wouldn’t mind if I didn’t contribute anything to it.
But as the years progressed and I became an Editor, my job profile changed. I now edit what other people write and attend to the many ‘managerial’ tasks involved in bringing out a magazine. This leaves me with very little time to write. Hence this blog.
My journalism guru, C Y Gopinath, had once informed us trainees at SOL Features, a Bombay collective of freelance journalists, about a wonderful habit of Jug Suraiya, his former colleague at JS magazine. Apparently, Suraiya, now an Associate Editor with the Delhi edition of the Times of India, used to write 1,000 words every morning at home before venturing out to office.
There are various reasons why people blog:
• Many don’t have access to – or are undecided about how to approach – mainline media to get published. Blogging is an easy – and inexpensive – way to show off their byline.
• The anonymity of a pseudonym allows people to blog about controversial topics – and get instant feedback.
• Blogging can also be used as an effective means of mobilizing public opinion – for example, as in the cases of the Jessica Lal murder case and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
• Many blog for their 15 minutes (or is it 15 seconds) of fame. This is evident in their sad requests for reciprocal links – “you link to my blog and I’ll link to yours”. The idea is to get more hits and hence make their blog more popular. But towards what end?
• A talented young writer I regularly follow says, “My blog is a space I have created beyond my regular life… the purpose is to express without editing my thoughts and interact with those I share a common bond created by words… for me posts are writings beyond work – sometimes light, occasionally thought-provoking and at times just to share that crib.”
So, why do you blog?


Written by Raju Bist

May 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

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