South Asian Journalists Blogging Panel

Rupa Datta (aka Saheli) has a detailed account of a panel on blogging at last weekend's South Asian Journalists Association conference (via Prashant Kothari). Also see Seshu Badrinath's account.

Seems like the discussion was exciting, but a little general. I'm glad it happened -- it makes a nice counterpoint to the all-white, mostly conservative blogger conference that Sharleen reported on a few weeks ago. In the discussion following that event, Cathy Seipp made it clear she didn't even take the question of race/ethnicity in the blogosphere seriously at all.

Still, notice that most of the discussion at the SAJA panel had to do with journalistic standards rather than ethnicity. I think it's going to be a little while before blogging becomes a significant issue within the broader South Asian diasporic community, or other ethnic US communities. The best known Indian blogger, Anil Dash, writes primarily about high-tech issues -- not so much about politics. A more political, and more broadly relevant, South Asian blogging community might develop in the next couple of years.

In the short run, however, I'm curious to see whether blogs that are based in India can have the effect on politics in India that they've had here in the U.S. The internet version of magazines like Outlook is very lively -- there are readers all around the globe. Also important to mention is the 2002 Tehelka bribery scandal (an expose of BJP officials engineered by a small website called The internet is clearly bubbling with political energy and ideas now. Effectively, we are ripe for an Indian 'Instapundit'. (Jivha would be my nominee)

[Update: see Badmash's comic on this conference!]