Tag Archives: Sohaib Athar

New media

While we discuss the peril of new media social networking & its impact on young, mouldable minds, let’s accept one fact new media has revolutionised communication & networking. And in ways we would never have anticipated previously or even imagined.
A few weeks ago when the winds of Revolution hit Mid eastern shores, there were people who had begun to tweet, upload various videos on youtube.com. Egyptian blogger Abdulkareem Nabeel Sulaiman, known as Kareem Amer, who went missing after leaving Tahrir Square.
There after a lady also blogged & uploaded videos on youtube. The new social media is changing the concept of ‘media’ & networking. From conversations  on inane subjects, low level bitching, gossiping, it comes as NO surprise that today young & old are speaking of support to citizens in Egypt, Tunisian people, demanding US take strong action against Libya & like one said, “Blow the shit out of Gadaffi, not just his planes.”
That is the power of the new media. What is most interesting is that even traditional media has to now not only keep pace with these New media, but also acknowledge their role. @ReallyVirtual, the name has changed the concept of news, real-time tweeting. He has achieved what many a journalist can only dream. Be at the right place at the wrong time. Sohaib Athar, needed time to de-stress & get away from his work.
So Athar headed to Abbottabad. The cool, hill station for the British, where once Pakistan got its freedom, they made it a military head quarters. Interestingly, the place where Athar was staying, was right next to the military base on one side & military academy on the other. Athar had taken his laptop & was fiddling on the net with his wifi attachment. When on May 2, he heard unusual sounds of the helicopters. Primarily American, considering the US has a solid presence in Pakistan.
With the vibrations of the armed forces helicopter the windows of his room began shaking. Obviously the copter was not just doing rounds, there were rounds being fired, when Athar tweeted, “Hope its not start of something nasty.”
Within minutes the world outside had learnt of Athar’s tweet. In less than 30 minutes, Athar was a real-hero that most on virtual have been waiting for. He broke news that most journalists would give their lives to hear –The End of Osama Bin Laden. Well, that he was NOT aware the military action was to finish OBL, is another point altogether. That Athar tweeted LIVE of it, is a reality we all now have come to terms with.
The new media has changed forms of communication, media, journalism & communication. I follow BarrackObama, my all-time favourite Julia Roberts because i think NO one has the smile she has; i follow my all-time hero Michael Jordan, alias AIR, the one who’s life-size poster is pasted opposite to my bed, so that when i rise every morning i see THE man who has inspired me. This trivia apart, i would NEVER have imagined that i would be able to ‘communicate’ with my real-life hero, had it not been for Twitter.
Mark Zuckerbug’s FB has done wonders to us all. Re-connected us to our childhood friends, long lost pals, for many their true-loves, their exes & more so for most their connection to their family & friends. The FB was seen as the revolutionary tool. In many ways it was pioneering for the new media tools that we now have at our disposal. Again it is unbelievable that the so called who’s who would be on FB & we would be able to connect in each other’s lives.
Till now we have grown up with traditional media. In early 90s in India we saw trickles of change & began ‘hearing’ of internet. Within days all changes began taking place. Today, the traditional media & new media can’t be indepedent of each other. In fact the newspapers, TV Channels just can’t Ignore new media, the netowrking sites. Plenty of story ideas, scoops & comments from people who otherwise may simply decline to ‘comment’ on any issue openly.

The New media is setting new benchmarks & new parametres for reporting. This is a new trend in journalism/media & definitely something more exciting to look out for.