The pros [and cons] of the commentariat

The Guardian’s position in the vanguard of the wider media’s embrace of new technology, and in particular blogs, has come under fire[see comments] in recent days following its top-down attempt to curtail the rise of the commentariat on Comment is Free. In contrast the BBC Newsnight deputy editor, Daniel Pearl, reveals on The Editors blog how a daily current affairs programme such as Newsnight can utilise blogs, via Technorati, as a resource.. although I’d have reservations about adopting an agenda-setting approach based on the posts noted by Technorati in the longer term.He describes how one item this week was scheduled:

It takes seconds on a site like Technorati to discover what people are talking about and searching for. This has begun to make an impact on the programme.

So, for example, late on Monday night the most talked about subject in the blog world was Newt Gingrich’s appearance on America’s Meet the Press, in which he said that we are in the midst of a Third World War.

The next day we contacted Gingrich and that night he repeated his claims on Newsnight (watch it here). So in that sense blogging had an immediate impact on Newsnight’s running order.

And that’s not the only impact noted by Daniel Pearl and others on the Newsnight team:

I recently found Jeremy slumped in front of his computer. He looked despondent and when I asked why, he briefly showed me his email inbox.

For the benefit of the Guardian’s Georgina Henry, and anyone else, the rise of commetariat is not a new phenomenon, as noted here this time last year, and it’s worth keeping in mind:

America [and everywhere else – Ed], it turns out, is full of smart, clever, creative people who happen to have no interest in working and whose employers have unwisely given them Internet access. Thus every day, on my blog, these strangers show up, just to shoot the breeze, flirt, kvetch, veer off topic and, most of all, pay zero attention to what I have written.

[You forgot to add, “sex, alien abduction, Oprah, Tom Cruise, Lindsay Lohan, jumbo hooters the size of watermelons, Dick Cheney, Mark of the Beast, Armageddon, free money” – Ed]

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  • Belfast Gonzo

    The Guardian embraces “bogs”?


  • Pete Baker

    Dammit. :op

  • anonymous

    Daily Ireland uses Mairtin O’Muilleoir’s blog for content, regularly publishing the comments he receives on his blog in the pages of the paper.

    SO BE WARNED! If you comment on O’Muilleoir’s blog you are writing for Daily Ireland!! He should post a notice that all comments are subject to publication in Daily Ireland or something.

    Compare this

    With this

  • mickhall

    I have found the brouhaha at the guardian CiF really interesting, what above all else it has displayed is the enormous gap between those who write for the paper on a regular bases and those who post to CiF. It has also shown what thin skins some of these so called star columnists have, they seem to believe they are above any criticism and have displayed absolute contempt for those who have challenged them.

    As to the guardian management, it is what it is, white, middle class, elitists, arrogant, cowardly, and has no understanding about this medium. without brown nosing or trying to get back in Petes good books 😉 Gonzo, Baker and Fealty could teach them a great deal, I just wish they would ask you lot for advice, as they way things are going I would not be surprised if they pulled the plug on CiF.

  • Fanny

    I used to take the Guardian but it’s gone down terribly in recent years. Perhaps some injection from the blogosphere could smarten it up again.

  • Pete Baker

    I would suggest, Fanny, that the Guardian’s fascination with the blogosphere [your word not mine], and the reaction to it, can be traced back to the failed attempt to influence the US presidential election

    Mind you, it should be said they still seem to be arrogant and self-aggrandising… just saying… ;o)

  • Fanny

    Say away, Pete. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, that was the opinion at the time of Ian Mayes, the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor..

  • Fanny

    One of the Americans pissed off by the Guardian interference said it better than I ever could: “Dear Limey assholes…”

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed. ;o)