I’ve only met Roy Greenslade once. Ironically it was in the British embassy in Paris for a round table (PDF) on the future of UK and French journalism. He’s every bit as intelligent and convivial as he comes across in his blog.
This week he was in the news, rather than just commenting on it when it was learned that he stood bail for John Downey. Interestingly he shares his thoughts on politics and journalism with the Irish Post:
“I do not believe in neutrality,” the professor said. “All of my lectures stress that claims towards neutrality and impartiality and objectivity are bogus.”
And while he now tells his students about his republican views, he admitted that “for a long period, during the war, I was not transparent”.
For all the claims that others have made for Slugger that it is somehow impartial, I don’t disagree with much of what Roy says… The changes we made to the comment zone, by giving each commenter an archive of their own (and therefore a record for others to read back on) was a constructive attempt to protect anonymity, but give a flavour of character and record.
It’s not transparency as such, but it is an attempt at encouraging authentic engagement… (See Dan Gillmor’s “Who’s Talking, and Why?“) by giving people in the comment zone, every as much as the bloggers, a record for them to speak against and in some light sense to be held accountable to.