This interview took place around a week ago, but I have only just had time to watch it. What I found interesting about it was the admission from Michael White (near the end) that the benefit a blogger has over a journalist is the instant feedback. On more than one occasion on this blog and the other, I have made errors of fact, some glaring some less so, but nonetheless there is an inevitability that the comment informing that “you’re wrong you idiot” comes within the hour. How many times during the election campaign did we see predictions of the DUP having a chance of four seats in East Belfast with their three candidates, Derek Hussey standing for the UUP and DUP in West Tyrone and the Foyle UUP candidate being called Peter Hay? Carelessness like that on a blog is unlikely in the first instance as the blogger is commenting because they want to, not to pay the mortgage. Newt articulated this argument very well on the recent Radio Ulster programme on blogging.
It’s probably a fact that journalists have a much stronger role in ensuring accountability, but the pressure from bloggers is only going to increase, and I really don’t think that is down to the format as much as other factors.
I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.
Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday