A warm welcome for Andrew Marr’s change of heart on blogging

Here’s the BBC’s Andrew Marr speaking in October 2010:

“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. … Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. It is vituperative. Terrible things are said on line because they are anonymous. People say things on line that they wouldn’t dream of saying in person.”

And here’s Andrew Marr speaking to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday:

“You look around and a lot of the most influential highly respected political commentators aren’t newspaper journalists, actually, they are bloggers. I’m thinking of people like Tim Montgomerie on Conservativehome or Mr Pack on the Liberal website.”

Kudos to my co-editor, Mark, on his mention in Leveson’s dispatches.

And kudos, too, to Andrew Marr on this change of heart. As I’ve pointed out before, it was not highly respected political bloggers who chose to recycle unsourced rumours about the mental health of Gordon Brown live on air during a televised interview — it was Andrew Marr.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

Read more by or more about , , , , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/28666 for Twitter and emails.

4 Comments

  • I can’t see that this is a change of heart – the two comments don’t contradict each other. There is some very good political blogging…and there is still also an awful lot of nasty abusive anonymous blogging and posting.

    Presenting this as a change of heart on the evidence you’ve given seems like a classic example of the sort of deliberate journalistic misinterpretation we usually get so annoyed about!

  • Bill le Breton 24th May '12 - 5:29pm

    Chris Dillow at http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2012/05/the-media-vs-bloggers.html recently wrote recounting a general change in the appreciation of bloggers, ‘As one of the more, ahem, seasoned bloggers, I can remember when mainstream journalists looked down upon us as “socially inadequate” angry ranters who were no replacement for serious journalism. But I’m starting to think that the opposite is increasingly the case. It is mainstream journalism that comprises linkbait (Samantha Brick), trolls (“Rod” Liddle, A.A Gill, The Mail’s nastiness towards female celebs) and shallow self-absorbed diarists, whilst many bloggers are serious, intellectual and high-minded.’
    It s well worth taking a moment to read.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th May '12 - 6:17pm

    I’ve been involved with internet discussion since it was done mainly through usenet, and I have to agree with Andrew Marr’s original point – it is too dominated by a certain sort of person who has a certain sort of view. Of course, much the dame sort of thing can be said about any activity which relies on volunteer effort – such as party politics. That is why I don’t agree with entirely “free for all” ways of running things, the bores and boors who have time on their hands tend to dominate and push out everyone else.

    LibDem Voice works because it is controlled – and I say this as someone who is very often met by “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. I’ve seen so many comment outlets brought down by being swamped by silly and rude comments that I’m prepared to accept that. I’ve never started by own blog in part because I do value putting comments through a filter controlled by someone else. I write letters to the Guardian newspaper but not messages on their “Comment is Free” because I like the feel that I have said something worthwhile enough for it to get through the letters editor. Sure, I’ve written them some good stuff that never sees the light of day, but if I’m honest also some bad stuff which I’m glad didn’t.

    I always use my own name, the same name I use in politics and professionally, and it’s one which is easily Googleable. I do question whether the common habit of allowing untraceable nicknames in discussion groups which are intended to be serious should be continued. I rather think this should be an exception, used only when an editor has good reason to agree the real name should not be given.

    What Andrew Marr is saying now is that a relatively small number of blogs have emerged and gained respect. This is not quite the same as the original idealistic “citizen blogger” concept.

  • Matthew is spot on -as is N (but I share Matthew’s opposition to anonymous postings -if it’s worth saying then be prepared put your name to it).

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Dingwall 1st Sep - 9:28pm
    This really is the problem with our leadership. We are not close, or even remotely close to a Federal UK. It is not on the...
  • User AvatarMr Wallace 1st Sep - 9:28pm
    OK, so what specific powers are being promised immediately after a no vote? The problem for me is whilst I'd take devo-max over full blown...
  • User AvatarSarah Whitebread 1st Sep - 9:25pm
    The irony of someone saying "big picture folks" when arguing for us to put short term economic objectives ahead of the need to tackle climate...
  • User AvatarChris Greaves 1st Sep - 9:11pm
    I agree with the thrust of the article. As was said above: "big picture folks". Unless we take steps to encourage continued growth/recovery in the...
  • User AvatarAnthony Vaughan 1st Sep - 8:54pm
    Well I didn't expect the need to point out that this was not a thesis for a PhD in Liberal Democrat Membership, it is a...
  • User AvatarRichard Duncalf 1st Sep - 8:45pm
    I went on a British Youth Council Delegation to Yugoslavia, way back in 1980 with Simon - when I belonged to another Political Youth Organisation...