Blogging, Bloggers and the MSM

Via the Britblog Roundup, I notice that the Flying Rodent indulges in a somewhat derisory polemic on political blogs and their authors.

Some readers might point to intelligent, well-written blogs run by reasonable individuals, but frankly, pish and tush. British blogs run at roughly 5% sober budget analysis to 95% face-raping crackheads.

Never mind blogs as a primary news source, I’m struggling to think of a handful of bloggers who would merit even the fabled fifteen minutes of fame. That’s particularly ironic, since the vast majority of them certainly deserve chemical castration, and that’s being charitable.

The piece is worth a read as it is mildly amusing and there is a point to be made, although that point is not a new one – it has been trotted out in one form or another ad-nauseum by hacks writing for mainstream publications.

However indifferent or downright bad blogs may be, however ill-informed the comment, it changes not the fact that so-called professional journalists are no better, frankly. I recall the wake of the Paddington disaster when journalists demonstrated their complete lack of understanding of railway signalling.

This was not the first time I had watched news stories unfold whereby the news agencies and their reporters demonstrated abject ignorance of their subject. I watched in despair as they reported on the signaller strike of 1994 and what a pile of arse dribble they came out with then – and anything to do with motorcycling has me reaching for the remote…

Given this, I will place more faith in a blogger with professional expertise than the drivel produced by a professional hack. If they are ignorant of my subject, then it is a reasonable conclusion that they are equally ignorant on just about everything else – unless they are demonstrably experts in that particular field, in which case, I place more weight on their comment.

As to the original point being made here; blogging is much like a pub conversation and should, for the most part, be taken in that context. Reading blogs has challenged my preconceptions, it has caused me to change my mind, it has given me the opportunity to engage with people with whom I would not otherwise have done. It is also a catharsis – a chance to blow off steam when reading the asinine garbage that passes for “professional” journalism in the mainstream press. It eases the blood pressure a fraction. FR worries about the decline of the newspapers – frankly, I cannot say that I do. They are hardly a force for good. The Guardian and the Daily Mail disappearing would instantly make the world a better place (and I would suggest the complete editorial staff of both publications are more worthy candidates for FR’s rocket to the sun than political bloggers). Not that those left are much better, mind…

Bloggers are merely ordinary people expressing an opinion and blogs are merely a means to voice those opinions – nothing more, nothing less. If, though, that makes the established media and the political class uncomfortable, jolly good, keep up the good work. Anything that annoys those bastards is a bonus.


  1. “Bloggers are merely ordinary people expressing an opinion and blogs are merely a means to voice those opinions”

    Not too sure I’m with you on that.

    What about someone like Guido or Iain Dale?

    Professional bloggers who often seem to voice what people want to hear.

    Unfortunately, when you say ‘blogger’ to the man on the Clapham omnibus these are the names you’re likely to hear.

    They’re far from typical.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Iain Dale, Esther Rantzen, 15 sheep and Nadine Dorries’ vomit =-.

  2. Even if only occasionally, doing a job for free that someone else is paid for does get so up a Journalists nose; an affront to their own narcissism.

    Happy Days.

  3. If it is a choice between relying on blogs and BBC, there are times when relying on judiciously chosen blogs can render one considerably better informed – as my wife and I recently discovered with regard to the BBC’s reporting of the result of the Norwich North by-election.

    I would not have known that there was anything amiss about the BBC’s reporting had it not been for the blogs; my wife would have been mislead about the result had she relied on the BBC.

    See and

    .-= ´s last blog ..More on BBC bias in Norwich North =-.

  4. I could not agree with you more. I have been reading blogs for about two years now and I have learned more about politics then at any time in my life, also a lot of stuff I see in blogs I then see on local news days or sometimes over a week later.

  5. FR, by his own admission, has dropped his game and is far less funny than previously – his words, not mine. There is an awful lot of piffle out there but there are some top bloggers and these are the ones we tend to visit.

    It’s true, we need a substitute for the MSM in news gathering, ads a blog has not the resources but the analysis is generally better amongst the good bloggers. Above all, this medium is crucial to keep running in the coming crisis.
    .-= ´s last blog ..[virgin feels blue] front wheel falls off plane =-.

  6. Steveshark,

    I agree, Iain Dale, Guido and (albeit briefly and ignominiously) Dolly Draper are the exception rather than the rule and it is they, rather than the norm that journos in their arrant laziness refer to whenever they want to discuss blogging – hence the impression of the man on the Clapham omnibus. That doesn’t change my point though – we (the majority) are merely ordinary people using a voice available to us.

    What blogging does do and it does it well when it does, is to hold the media to account, undermining its cosy relationship with the political class, exposing the lies and hypocrisy and don’t they just hate that, eh?

  7. Why not come on my blog and have the chance of winning a $15 itunes voucher? hahaha

    On a more serious note, this is a good analysis of blogging and MSM. There’s no substitute for MSM – but the way I look at it, bloggers, Citizen Journalists, and MSM should be working together to expose the truth that is sometimes hidden from the powers at be. If it’s done together, surely it’s a better thing?
    .-= ´s last blog ..MPs need to tweet properly =-.

  8. Blogging is still in its infancy, and undoubtedly has a crucial future role in spreading effective democratic discourse. However, in my two years online I have encountered too many weird – and frankly unbalanced – bloggers to regard it as being yet a mature forum for debate. Until there is more self-discipline, and the too numerous ranters and spewers of personal abuse at those with whom they differ are edged out, the blogosphere is at times more like a vulgar bar-room brawl than a civilised debating society.

    I have learned some surprising things about myself. One of the more polite is that I am “a pseudo-liberal bigot”. I now display this title as a badge of honour.

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