Monday, 25 October 2010

Dear Mr Marr, "It IS going to replace journalism."

Update here.

It (blogging) has done so already, and for proof unequivocal I need direct you no further than my previous post.

Not much reporting going on from that hallowed institution is there Mister Marr?

To be more accurate, there is no reporting going on, not a word, not a single word in print, not one. And it's not as though the subject is unknown to the BBC is it Mister Marr, not after the way the BBC fell over themselves in the rush to report the placing of an injunction banning the sale of Goncalo Amaral's book, A Verdade Da Mentira, The Truth About The Lie?

So consider this piece a scoop, a scoop from a citizen journalist, from a blogger, though sans spots; a most unfortunate description to employ Mister Marr, you see we, "inadequate, pimpled and single" bloggers are up to our ears with spots.

So then, my scoop for today and undoubtedly will come as a shock to many.


Astonishingly as it may seem.
Source of 'Information Branch' quote and dedicated blog, Biassed BBC here.

A reminder then of what exalted BBC presenter and political commentator, Andrew Marr, has to say about Bloggers.

Andrew Marr says bloggers are 'inadequate, pimpled and single'

The BBC's website has nearly 100 blogs and invites its readers to "have your say" on an enormous range of topics, from Westminster to the weather.

But one of the corporation's most familiar faces, Andrew Marr, has dismissed bloggers as "inadequate, pimpled and single", and citizen journalism as the "spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night".

Marr, the BBC's former political editor who now presents BBC1's flagship Sunday morning show, said: "Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all.

"A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people," he told the Cheltenham Literary Festival. "OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk".

"But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night.

"It is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism."

He added: "Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. Terrible things are said online because they are anonymous. People say things online that they wouldn't dream of saying in person."

Marr's successor as political editor, Nick Robinson, has previously criticised the tone and and quality of online debate, saying he had stopped reading most of the comments on his own BBC blog.
"It's a waste of my time," he said in March this year, adding that the blog's comments section was frequented by people who had "already made their minds up, to abuse me, to abuse each other, or abuse a politician". The Gruniad

Yes Mister Marr, the country is full of very angry people, do you wonder why?

I shall leave for another day, Marr's successor as political editor, Nick Robinson.

But all is not lost, one troglodyte at least has left the cave, thrown of his skins, made the courting club redundant and abides in times contemporary.

This from Shane Richmond, Head of Technology for Telegraph Media Group. But I beg you, please don't distracted with what is pasted here, this post is primarily about the BBC and it's embarrassingly transparent agenda.

Andrew Marr criticises bloggers. Is it 2005 again?

Just how out of touch is Andrew Marr? Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival this weekend, Marr said that most bloggers are “bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting”

It’s disappointing to hear comments like that coming from someone in Andrew Marr’s position. Criticising bloggers was 2005’s pastime. Any self-respecting curmudgeon these days is complaining about Twitter.

Twitter is pointless, Marr should be saying. It’s full of people getting outraged by things, he could add. He could go further and complain that Twitter won’t change the world, overlooking the fact that almost nobody thinks it will. ( Tell that to the Iranians)

But no, Marr has turned his ire on blogging. There are High Court judges who know what blogging is, for heaven’s sake. That’s how behind the curve Marr is.

The criticism itself is a little weak. Let’s ignore the remarks about the physical appearance of bloggers – not everyone is blessed with Marr’s matinee idol good looks. There’s a little more substance in Marr’s claim that “so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night”. He’s completely wrong, of course, but there is at least some substance there.

Now, Marr isn’t completely against blogging. “It’s fantastic at times,” he admits, “but it is not going to replace journalism.”

His definition of blogging appears to be ‘angry people ranting anonymously online’. It seems clear that ‘angry people ranting’ is not going to replace journalism. Having said that, there is plenty of professional journalism which looks like angry people ranting.

If we take “citizen journalism” to mean journalism outside the traditional mainstream media, then there are plenty of examples of people making significant contributions. Technology blogs, for example, are flourishing – frequently breaking stories and setting the agenda for the mainstream media.

Furthermore, as David Carr wrote in yesterday’s New York Times, plenty of “proper” journalists are crossing the divide and going to work for blogs such as The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post. Those blogs are not replacing journalism but more and more often they are doing it themselves.

What Marr is overlooking is that most bloggers have no interest in being journalists. Like many journalists, Marr has noticed people publishing things and tried to fit that activity into the framework of traditional media. In most cases, that framework simply doesn’t apply. Telegraph

And to think it was only last month that I was lauding Mr Marr.

* Just to say I really enjoyed Marr's History of Modern Britain. You can find it here on Google vids if you haven't watched the thing as yet.

Hard to say which I enjoyed the more, Marr's history of, or The Trial of Tony Blair. (Link updated)

Things I found on the net.

I'm glad it's your licence fee and not mine.


But perhaps a tad more interesting would be the link from that post to this article by John Pilger. Which I shall read myself as soon as I have put this post to bed.