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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Internet for latest news- A decade ago

This post, republished here, was originally written on the occasion of OneWebDay and was published at onewebday blog. This write up is basically about how we harnessed the power of internet to bring in a difference a decade ago. Excuse me if this sounds silly today.

The year was 1998-99. I was studying in Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya (JNV) Udupi district, Karnataka. It was a residential school run my Dept of Education, Ministry of Humar Resource Development. (ideally there’s to be a JNV in every district). Everyday morning the school would assemble before the classes would start and one of the rituals performed during the same was to read the news headlines. Everyday a designated person had to collect news headlines from newspapers and read it in front of the entire school. The idea being, to keep everyone informed what’s going on outside the school campus.

I always had a feeling that students are getting outdated news. Reason was this… The assembly timing as around 7.15 AM in the morning. Our school was located far from city and English newspapers usually used to reach by 10 or 11 AM. So the headlines read in today’s assembly used to be from yesterday’s newspaper, which in turn reported the events happened the previous day. Effectively we were getting 3 day old news.

With a journalistic instinct in me, I was keen on giving more recent news to my school mates. The school used to allow us watching news on TV every evening. Doordarshan was the only channel those days and news was at 8 PM to 8.30 PM and 8.30 PM to 9 PM (Hindi and English, I am still able to recall the names of DD reporters of those days- Emani Krishnarao from Hyderabad, Maya Jaideep and Gayathri Chandrashekar from Bangalore and one Hashir Hasin Chamki (sounds something like that-exact spelling not known) from Delhi were frequently heard reporters as far as I can recall). Whenever it was my turn to read news infront of everyone next day, I used to take notes from the news shown on TV and then share this news next day. This way, I was able to reduce the delay from 3 days to less than 24 hours (Yesterday’s news shared today morning)

After finishing my class 10th I took some computer courses and when our school got computers in 1999, I was the first few people in the campus who knew something about the computers (I was the only one in entire school to have an email ID at that time). Only one computer in Principal’s chamber had internet access and I could get permission to use it.

With internet at my disposal, the quest to share latest news was even higher. If I was to read news at 7.15, I would check latest news headlines on internet by 7 AM, make notes and read the latest news in front of few hundred students. Some of the news I read out were so latest that I had the credit of transmitting it faster than TV and newspaper. (An incident which happened today morning could be seen only by late evening news bulletin or read in next day’s newspaper but whole school would know it early morning itself-there was no concept of 24 hours news channel those days)

Soon this became a standard (Of collecting latest news from internet than relying on newspapers or other sources which give obsolete sources)


This is how we used power of internet nearly a decade ago: though today this may sound like a silly narration- what’s so great in getting news from internet? you may think.

Similar:JNVC photos * Karkala photos * JNV Alumni website * My journalism experiences* Some of my articles in Media- Marketing Petroleum (Vijaya Karnataka, Kannada), Article on Christian Barnard * Some more articles * My event report published in ERGO

11 comments :

Raveesh Kumar said...

Hi Nidhi,

Good Nostalgic Article. You were the trendsetter for the 'breaking news' in the morning. Later, people did not try to compile the news items . They took a print out from rediff.com and straightly went to read it in the assembly!

Raveesh

Jennifer said...

Shrinidhi, Your post is amazing. It reminds me of how far we have come with computers and internet, and really still how far we have to come as a collective human population. So many people (in America) know about Internet, have used it, but really don't understand the true power or full use of the Internet. It's an amazing tool. If you saw this in 99..you're a visionary!

maduraiveeran said...

No, It doesnt sound silly. It feels great to look back once a while.

hari said...

Hey, it's good to look back once in a while.

Actually I prefer the old days when the news was not-so-instant. I am sick of these 24x7 news channels.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@ Raveesh

I've fixed the error in link to your blog...

Yes, our people are very good at finding innovative ways of reducing effort...

@ Jennifer,

Thanks for those encouraging words and referral in DP

@ Madhurauveeran

Thanks for that reassurance.

@ Hari,
Yes, the 24x7 channels sometime are interested more in creating news than reporting as there is a dire shortage of news to keep them busy 24x7

Saithilak said...

Shrinidhi,

Good old days, where the term "internet addiction" does not exist!!

Thanks for adding me. :)

bobo said...

heh. i remember the same - my family (grandfather to be precise) was a computer buff - and so i had a completely useless hotmail id. absolutely noone else had one. on that day, though i wouldn't know it for another 6 odd years, i learnt an important lesson about network externalities. :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@ Saithilak,

Welcome

@ Bobo, thanks for sharing your experience-nice to know that your grand dad was computer savy...

Sid said...

Your post brought back memories from the School days. Even we had something similar to what you described. And it used to go around in turns, I always used to get so excited when it was my turn the next day.
I would try to make the headline sound as interesting as possible and reduce the number of words spoken to bare min. so that people don't fall asleep. I used to fell like a editor.
I now realize how much 24/7 news channels and the internet have changed all that. I wonder if schools still have the headline news read out.

नितिन बागला said...

Great to know that your JNV got computers/internet so early...
I come from JNV Jhalawar (in Rajasthan)and i thing they got it 3-4 years back only.
The condition of news was same at our school as well..
Look at this blog...seems it is from one of your faculty
http://rameshnayakjnv.wordpress.com/

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Sid,

Nice to hear that you too enjoyed this task...

I believe our school still does...

@Nitin,

NIce to hear from you and thanks for the link.