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Digital Media loses Media's Virginity

Virginity is a funny virtue, till such time you don't lose it, you want to be lose it. Once you lost it you wonder that was it! The drama is gone. Puneet Mehrotra writes.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2010 20:25 IST

Virginity is a funny virtue, till such time you don't lose it, you want to be lose it. Once you lost it you wonder that was it! The drama is gone. The right, the wrong, the fears, the rebellion, the everything is just not there. It was just it! In this silence truth prevails. The truth is always simpler than what we believe it is. 2010 is year when the media lost its virginity thanks to media's new teenage child - the digital media.

Digital Media - Growing years
Ever since the world wide web came into inception the winds of change has already blown. In the next few years blogs and the democratization of opinion was no longer an aristocratic right. The energy, the lust, the rushing adrenalin was always there. The change was probably similar to when democracy came into being and the might of the royalty, the aristocratic few was challenged. The might of the biggest organization on earth, Microsoft, is suddenly challenged by a bunch of geeks with a search engine. The monopoly of knowledge, Encyclopedia Britannica, suddenly found competition in a no real author, contribution based, Wikipedia. Knights of the old regiment like Rupert Murdoch cried how can news be free. The fact is news IS free. Media moguls like Ted Turner saw strategic logic in being run by a newbie AOL. Barnes and Noble, a company founded in 1873, found amazonian competition in a storeless company, started in 1995.


The Teenage Years
Like the rebel child who broke the rules of game the energy and adrenalin rush of the digital media was growing. No longer confined to the old school of thought the digital media always wanted to be what it is. The funny part is while editors were debating on striking a balance between newspapers and websites and how much news should be free/paid etc, Wikileaks on the world wide web pricked media's virginity. It got into a zone that was taboo. Here was a 39 year something man taking on the entire might of the most powerful country in the world and nobody could really do anything about it. Yes, the old media did debate on the rights, the wrongs, the taboos etc while wikileaks kept feeding spicy tit bits on US diplomacy and more.

Radia-acvtity in India
Television, newspapers and judiciary, I wonder what makes them so holier than thou! Saying anything against a judge is contempt of court, disagreeing to a news anchor means having a bad opinion or being shouted at. 2010 put a lot of this in perspective in India. We finally got to know that the richest man in India does fight with his wife and that editors of India's 'best' media also have buddy talks, that even governments divide in brothers family dispute and that news that we see on TV and read in newspapers is just a perspective and nothing more than just a perspective and no way the truth.

Breaking the taboo
The digital media did the biggest favor for news in history of media. It entered into zones that the media feared to tread always. It crushed the controls the governments, the advertisers and perspectives of a worthy few held over the media while the media sang the fear song in debates, in rights and wrongs, in projected puritan values. 2010 is a year in which the media lost its virginity. The drama, the debate, the wrong, the right, all that didn't matter. The digital media just did it!

(Puneet Mehrotra writes on business and technology)