Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Called The World Wide Web, Folks

When not letting newspapers off with nothing stronger than a slap on the wrist, the Press Complaints Commision (PCC) appears to think that blogs should be subject to the sort of accountability which it doesn't expect of the press itself (http://ianburrell.independentminds.livejournal.com/8357.html ).
Its chairman Baroness Buscombe wants to see if it's possible for bloggers to be regulated by the PCC. She makes the bizarre comment:
"Some of the bloggers are now creating their own ecosystems which are quite sophisticated....Is the reader of those blogs assuming that it's news, and is [the blogosphere] the new newspapers? It's a very interesting area and quite challenging."
What's "challenging" is Buscombe's quaint nostrum that a blog, any blog, could be confused with, say, the BBC News website, or the Guardian home page. There's also the inconvenient & overlooked point for the PCC to realise that blog-hosting sites, including this one, are based in the US & therefore fall under that nation's jurisdiction.
The Independent piece notes that bloggers would be expected to volunteer to come under the PCC's guidelines. The only thing I'd "volunteer" is a two-word response.
Someone really should sit those old buffers at the PCC down & kindly tell them that their knowledge of this subject is non-existant. They should also be told that their preference for self-regulation in the press is tantamount to a dereliction of their duty.

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