Not satisfied with such pathbreaking initiatives in the “professional” print media industry in Sri Lanka such as using Wikipedia to defame and plagiarising content from Flickr, the Sunday Times in Sri Lanka proudly announces today that it has “linked up” with Twitter and will be “hosting” the service to boot!
Journalist Surekha, understandably a little light headed at her epiphanic discovery of Twitter notes that, “by simply following the right people and publication on Twitter, users can find the finest information available on the Internet catered to their tastes all in one place.” After such a gushy verdict, one shudders to contemplate what Surekha might write after she discovers RSS aggregation. But not stopping at the banal, the article ventures into nonsense, noting that “as more people join Twitter, its ability to measure what issues garner the most attention will increase in accuracy”.
Tellingly though, anyone keen to follow Twitter “hosted” by the Sunday Times were greeted with this message.
Unsurprising under an Editor who cannot even begin to comprehend proper online sourcing or citizen journalism (see responses by bloggers here and here), its fascinating to watch these bungling attempts of traditional print media in Sri Lanka to leverage social networking, mobiles and the web.
Groundviews, progressive youth initiatives like Beyond Borders along with others on Facebook and a range of independent, compelling voices on the web have used new media for years to publish and disseminate critical content and engage local and international audiences, even at the height of war.
One hopes that wiser counsel prevails and the Sunday Times only asks journalists of a higher calibre like Smriti Daniel to cover their forays into new media in the future.