Wednesday, February 27, 2008

an extract of my term paper

Who are Mizo bloggers?

The Mizo bloggers come from diverse socio-economic background. Students, teachers, government employees, bureaucrats, research scholars, mothers, fathers, priests, missionaries, freelance writers, journalists etc. Most of the bloggers are either working or studying outside Mizoram. Some of them blog under pseudonyms which can some times blur the identity of the blogger.


Content:

Blogging is a way of self-expression, giving opinions on any issues regarding the culture, tradition or political scams etc. As far as content is concerned, the Mizo community blogs on various topics ranging from politics to social issues, state news to national news, academic research papers to special articles, personal diaries and anything else under the sun. For instance, aduhi.blogspot.com, youpurplepeopleeater.blogspot.com, apatea.blogspot.com, zothlifim.blogspot.com, nohiddendepths.blogspot.com, butterflyeve.blogspot.com etc are based on personal diaries, opinion and life experiences. Others blogs such as minhnemtu.blogspot.com, johnnytlau.blogspot.com and eng-kim.blogspot.com deal mostly about computer technology and popular music. Misual.com and lawrkhawm.com are blog-based community websites which publish current news contributed by readers. Mizohicans.blogspot.com, azialo.blogspot.com and thangtharculture.blogspot.com are high profile blogs which post current issues on social, political and economic topics. There are also people who blog randomly on any current issues which may include politics, sex, sting operations, jokes, photography, poetry, cooking recipes etc



Participation:

An attractive feature of blogging is the ability to post comments which are published on the web. This feature enables direct audience participation. The audience can participate by debating. Lawrkhawm.com is a Mizo community based website which entirely runs on the support of the readers. The readers contribute, vote and publish the news. In this way, the readers play the role of agenda setting and gate keeping. According to the administrator Jimmy, lawrkhawm.com is the first user driven content Web site from Mizoram. All the content on this site is voted by the community (users). Users choose and vote what content or post should be published on the front page. “In short, this site is about democracy” says Jimmy.


Impact on communication:

Many of the newspapers and magazines in Mizoram depend on blogs as their source for their news and articles. For instance, Aizawl Post, one of the leading newspapers in the state, borrows news contents from blogs such as Misual.com and Lawrkhawm.com. There are various others newspapers and magazines which take news and articles from other Mizo blogs. Unfortunately, there is a problem of giving due credits to the source some times.

Blogging helps an individual on his/ her writing skills and makes him/her become critical on his/her views. It also helps maintain a healthy debate that may enrich a person’s view on certain issues of importance. Often as a response to media bias (across the political spectrum) they will mainly be commenting on the news, giving closer analysis to issues they feel have been misrepresented or glossed over by mainstream news.


Conclusion:

Blogging is an emerging media and gaining popularity among the Mizos. When it comes to the impact, blogs are useful more for Mizos outside Mizoram rather than those in the state itself. Blogging acts as one of the cohesive factor in binding together all the tribes under the Mizo umbrella, where expatriates use it as means to keep in touch with home. It enables people from all over the globe to participate in Mizo society. It creates a new world/space where people interact, share and discuss on all topics of their interests. Easy accessibility of internet among the non-resident Mizos provided a new space that also allows a new level of interaction. Most of the content in Mizo blogs are ‘Mizo-centric’ than any other issues. This clearly shows that most Mizo bloggers want to link to the state of Mizoram through their blogs. It strengthens citizen participation in media as some popular media of Mizoram turn their attention to Mizo bloggers. Finally, many non-resident Mizo bloggers can take part in the developmental process of Mizoram through their blogging.

2 comments:

Calliopia said...

What a very interesting field of research. I should've been in Mass Comm doing things like this myself! Seriously blogging does seem to be getting more and popular with Mizos, and we're slowly getting more mature people signing up too, which is a very good thing.

Yes, you're quite right about many local papers liberally sponging off these blogs and websites without giving any acknowledgement or credit. What's so difficult about leaving a little comment saying Hey this is good, mind if I borrow it for our paper etc etc?

Be nice if you could post a pdf of your entire term paper for us. It sounds really interesting :)

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