Ridiculous Comment Award 2007

October 25th, 2007 by Dave Leave a reply »

Welcome to tonight’s award ceremony. There’s only one category. And only one nominee.

The winner of the 2007 Ridiculous Comment of the Year Award goes to Donnacha DeLong:

There are those who claim that Web 2.0 democratises the media. It would make everyone equal, yes, but should they be? It’s like saying anyone can play for Manchester United. In one of the main examples given to explain Web 2.0, Wikipedia replaces Britannica Online. Is that the kind of democracy we want – where anyone can determine the information that the public can access, regardless of their level of knowledge, expertise or agenda?

Should everyone be equal? Stupid question. Of course they should. And yes, it’s EXACTLY like saying everyone can play for Manchester United. Because everyone can… if they’re good enough. Not everyone has the skill to be a columnist for The Times, but that doesn’t mean we should stop them blogging on their own patch. It’s the journalism equivalent of having a kick about in the park. Just because little Jimmy isn’t good enough to play for Manchester United doesn’t mean the F.A come and confiscate his ball now does it?

You know, I may be cynical here when I say that if Donnacha is worried about agendas or lack of knowledge, then maybe journalists are the main culprits. Newspapers have agendas. TV stations have agendas. In fact, the only type of journalism WITHOUT an agenda is citizen journalism. They’re just taking pictures and blogging about whatever takes their fancy.

Roy Greenslade has given up his NUJ membership after reading that tripe up there. I don’t blame him. Personally, I’m not going to leave the NUJ, but you’ll never find me supporting their causes. They’re there for the limited legal protection they can russle up for me — and nothing more.

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4 comments

  1. Shucks, an award :)

    Have you read Prof. Greenslade’s post when he said he was resigning? Let me quote a key piece:
    “We are surely moving towards a situation in which relatively small “core” staffs will process material from freelances and/or citizen journalists, bloggers, whatever (and there are many who think this business of “processing” will itself gradually disappear too in an era of what we might call an unmediated media).”

    Think about what that means. It doesn’t mean “Not everyone has the skill to be a columnist for The Times, but that doesn’t mean we should stop them blogging on their own patch”, it means he thinks there will no longer be a columnist for The Times, no dividing line between The Times and the blogger’s patch. No more professional journalism.

    You correctly point out that journalists have agendas, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say media outlets have agendas. The point is that you know what they are. When you pick up the Telegraph or the Mail, you know you’re not going to get the same perspective as from the Guardian or Independent. But to say “In fact, the only type of journalism WITHOUT an agenda is citizen journalism. They’re just taking pictures and blogging about whatever takes their fancy.” is naive.

    Do you really think that all those who are not professional journalists are without an agenda? Try searching Technoratti for all blog posts tagged Israel, terrorism or politics. People have agendas, they have their own views, their own opinions and their own reasons to want to publish those on blogs.

    Looking around your blog, you’re clearly proud of your own abilities as a journalist – I’d personally like you to be have a job in journalism when you’re finished university. I’m willing to stand up for professional journalism to try and ensure this is the case. And if that leads to mockery, I’ll take it on the chin.

  2. As a far-away (USA) Man Utd fan, I enjoy reading blogs like this.
    Maybe one day I can make it to the UK to attend a soccer game.

  3. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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