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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Blogging Western Mail style

The dead-tree press are certainly hitting back at the rise of blogs and instant on-line communication. In an article today the head of content at the Western Mail's website argues that the instant gratification afforded to bloggers and the owners of camera phones is leading to excesses and irresponsible behaviour:

It's hardly surprising that we're now witnessing the rise of the citizen snapper - camera phones are part of most people's everyday armoury.

They've given a shot in the arm to TV and online news coverage but at a price: taste.

Just as bloggers find it all too easy to spew out libel and defamation, so camera-phone snappers adopt the worst paparazzi tendencies.

We should not forget who it is who feeds off these paparazzi tendencies of course, it is the very media that puts the food on the table of the writer of this piece. They invented the paparazzi and they will pay good money for the sort of pictures and articles that Simon Newsam so derides. It is also the case that the media will steal stories from blogs and use them, often without acknowledgement or attribution. Bloggers are also as subject to the libel law as he is.

What he is bemoaning in fact is human nature and how the growth of voyeurism in our society is undermining journalistic standards. Newspapers are as prone to publish sensational and speculative items as are bloggers. The difference is the press is supposed to be self-regulated and to have professional standards. Alas that does not stop their excesses.

If we are to have decency filters as Mr. Newsam advocates then they must apply to the mainstream media as well. However, the sort of censorship he is advocating has never worked for the dead-tree press so how can he expect it to operate in the anarchic world of the internet? As ever the most effective censors when it comes to decency and taste are the general public themselves. If they believe that a newspaper has gone too far then they will say so. If a blogger crosses the line they there can be consequences for them as well.
Two effs in Ffynone... no effing clue.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, you might find these links interesting as the resultant discussion has some neat parrallels:

Matthew Turner and Conservative Commentary.
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