Friday, June 27, 2008

Hacked Off

I've always disliked the description of bloggers as "citizen journalists". Journalism is a craft, requiring all the training, discipline & skill to successfully practise it. However, the sniffy attitude which some scribes still hold towards the blogosphere is arrogant & anachronistic; it's a bit like the clergy decrying Caxton for his printing press.
Roy Greenslade is one journalist who does recognise the future trend & is not afraid to tell it like it is to his bretheren ( ).
Greenslade freely acknowledges that the cat is out of the bag. He admits that journalists like himself "have spent our lives dominating [his italic] conversations. No, that's wrong, of course. We did not converse at all. We lectured. We provided the information that people feasted on in order to hold their own conversations."
"But the odd 'letter to the editor' aside, we were largely unaware of the content of those conversations. We moved on. We were the secular priests who decided what information to give the great unwashed and even told them how they should react to that information, what to think and what to do. Public service performed. Job done. How clever we were. How privileged."
And now, as Greenslade willingly attests, that cosy little world has vanished. When the Sun published its lies about Hillsborough, the only viable means of redress were letters to the Liverpool Echo or phone-ins on local radio. Not any more. If, perish the thought, a tragedy on the scale of Hillsborough happened tomorrow, any lies spread about its causes would be instantly challenged & discredited. For that, we have the blogosphere to thank.

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