FirstPostic Journalism

Over recent times,  web news portals like FirstPost have emerged as popular destinations for news junkies seeking to know whether Raj Thackeray spoke in Hindi when he visited Gujarat to meet NaMo (not my way of writing Narendra Modi, but a borrowed popular style of writing his name) or whether it was Aishwarya Rai who delivered Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai’s baby.

FirstPost is that thing that comes in between TV/newspapers and news websites like Times Of India or The Hindu or one of them (if the other brings it down through a series of advertisements). It’s like a third category, like how Apple created a third category when bringing in the iPad as an in-between to the iPhone and the Macbooks. Also like how my Mom created a third category called STUDY between SLEEP and FOOTBALL when I was growing up. Okay, probably not that. It’s not this or that, but it’s got a little bit of both this and that. The thing about FirstPost is that it is not a regular, unbiased news portal because of the way you would read what they tweet.

Lately, FirstPost and ESPN Cricinfo have begun to offer opinion or satirize writing when it comes to tweeting. You’d think they are a ‘neutral’ medium, but they aren’t. FirstPost is irritatingly in-your-face with hashtags. It’s so extreme with hashtags diarrhoea that you’d imagine emails between FirstPost staff to go something like this:

Dear XYZ, send me a copy of your draft for the post on Mayawati. #SENDNOW #DONTFORGET #BOSSWILLCUTYOURBALLSOFF #ELEPHANTS

Hey ABC, do you want to go on a date with me on Valentine’s? #VALENTINESDAY #PRAMODMUTHALIK #VIAGRASTILLWORKS

Apparently, FirstPost recently tweeted “#Finally, there’s news on a news-dry day” in the wake of the attack on the Israeli diplomat in Delhi. I wonder if too much opinionizing leaves any space for even basic sense, forget sensitivity. They did move to apologize in a while, but by then that tweet had been retweeted way too many times, good enough for even Shahid Kapoor to learn the spelling of ‘news-dry’ from the tweet. Just so that he won’t go out and spell it as juice-fry.

Of course, if a website can get CNN-IBN journalist, political liberal democrat, author Gin Drinkers and Blind Faith, mother of two teenagers and HT columnist Sagarika Ghose to do an incisive analysis on how clothes matter in politics (Who knew! Oh wait, Shivraj Patil did.), then it can certainly tweet scatterbrained bullshit straight out of a Dummys Guide To Being Dumb.

Fantastic journalism. FirstPostic journalism. #WELLDONE. #KEEPITUP. #BUTBESENSIBLE.

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