Citizen Journalism, more commonly known as blogging allows anyone the ability to discuss and report an issue or news item immediately, and certainly far sooner then the early morning paper produced by the main stream media. Pakistan is not far behind as blogging is slowly becoming popular and there is no doubt that a time will come when bloggers would be in a position to give the classic paper-based journalists a run for their money.
One such incident appeared just recently at Karachi Metroblog when Jamal Ashiqain a blogger on the network made a post on the Sculptures Along Seaview End Up Stolen early on the morning of January 24th:
Some time back our beach at seaview was blessed with beautiful benches placed on a tiled floor and was beautified with sculptures by our world renowned Artists Amin Gulgee and Anjum Ayaz, placed securely on huge cubical rocks heavy enough to be lifted by cranes. A few days back I visited seaview, I found these heavy rocks void of the beautiful sculptures taunting at the law and order situation of our city. It must have taken some time to chisel off the sculptures from their huge base, but sadly no one noticed it then or even after the crime was committed, the news never made it to any newspaper or TV channel. The sculptures along the beach which promoted our culture and vibrant art scene are almost gone, only a few remain there in place and If proper measures are not taken immediately they will all be gone soon. — Karachi Metroblogs – posted by Jamash at 11:46 AM on January 24, 2007
The very next day, on the 25th, Urooj Zia reports the story in Daily Times which includes an image which ‘appears’ to be a photoshopped version of the picture taken by Jamash a few days earlier, since they don’t attribute credit to the KMB as a source we assume (and also claimed by Urooj Zia in her email exchange with a member of Karachi Metroblogging team) that it was taken by a Daily Times photographer.
But a closer side-by-side comparison does reveal some remarkable similarities, the same shot taken from the same angle, identical shadows being cast across the sculpture having the exact same light source can only lead any observant reader to suspicion. Responding to the post on Karachi Metroblogs Urooj Zia is reported to have said “As for the picture, yaar, insaan buno bhai. I went mad uss din trying to explain the location to our photographer!”
It is no use arguing over an image but the team of metrobloggers take this in a positive light to stand proud of having become an important source where the main stream media journalists look to for news stories to later use on their own pages. It should not be long before the bloggers in Pakistan will become a very valuable source of information for upto the minute reporting while the day-old news being published in the classic paper form might be considered old news. The day will come……