The question of the media and politics is a vexed one. Too often the debate is closed down in ad hominem badinage before it gets properly going. Over at Comment is Free today, amongst other things, I have argued that there should be proper separation between the two. Politicians should be allowed govern, and the media be allowed report. Blogs, however, throw another layer of complexity into the mix. The principle Slugger is built on is that of the individual’s right to call the world as they see it – whether as bloggers or commenters. All too often thought that right is corrupted of obscured by gross incivility. Civility, on the other hand, as Kennedy once noted, is not a sign of weakness. Indeed, it is an essential precondition to allow the rest of us examine the perspicacity (or otherwise) of an individual’s view. But too often contempt blocks the right, one for an individual blogger to speak, and two, to have his work critically examined.
I spoke on blogs and democracy recently in response to George Osbourne’s advocacy of a more open relationship between politicians and the people at the RSA in London. But the most impressive speaker wrapped up the importance of the individual voice thusly:
“Back to democracy – as Churchill pointed out, it is the least bad system of government we know, perhaps the internet holds a key to an organisation that establishes the balance between the individual, the society and its institutions. This is essential as for me the knowledge, creativity, innovation, morality and all things social start with the individual.”
More over at Comment is Free…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty