The months of July and August in the European and US media is referred to as silly season, as there is not much news and journalists scramble to create media situations, some of which are purposefully set up to create sensationalism and ultimately sell newspapers.
The recent news due to lack of anything else to report has been dominated by the News International Scandal which has given enough for reporters to write about, and also includes a little on the Somalian Famine and Obama's struggle to get the Deficit Reduction plans passed.
Whilst we thought everything was hunkydory, out of the blue comes the Norwegian massacres which appear at first to be the work of a lone gunman from Norway. How on earth one person can be responsible for such carnage is beyond imagination, but it certainly has caught the imagination of the world news media and the international news outlets have finally put the spotlight on the ugly sleepy fishing village or capital called Oslo, home to some of the highest GNP per capita people on earth.
Sri Lanka like always seems to buck this trend in any type of media blues and has its own sprinkling of media events, from the Local Government Elections being held today, to the Arsenic scares, and Election malpractices in the North. Whenever there is a dearth of news you can bet that the Government creates news so they do not feel left out. Why they need this comfort is beyond me as they have their one sided media that pretends that there are no people other than those who wholeheartedly agree with the State. Such is the quality of the State sponsored media organizations, none of whom seem to care about ethics or media.
As one knows what is reported is as much news and what is not reported. One must also realize that many editors determine what is being written or broadcast and therefore exert a certain amount of influence in this regard. We are therefore guided to some degree in this aspect and must rely on bloggers to get some angles that none of the formal channels of media provide. It is also important to realize in Sri Lanka that there is a considerable amount of self censorship that goes on by the editors in reporting so as not to fall foul with the State which gives a certain amount of advertising revenue to enable some of these publications to survive.
Remember all media channel and papers are businesses and it is only the Government ones that can suffer an element of loss on account of the Government prepared to bail them out as needed.
There are many NGO type blogs around but whose credibility is compromised due to the funding sources and so individual well researched blog which are few and far between give an opinion based on certain in built prejudices.
Lets hope we can develop this individuality and make the blogs more popular amongst the ever increasing following especially amongst the youth, and get them to start a culture of blogging.