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.