Diversity over objectivism every time…

Busy day, so I’m a bit late in checking in. Local Democracy is a new group blog that I’ll be contributing some thoughts on politics, democracy and the media from time to time. Paul Evans picks up an piece by Jim Gibney when he complained about the lack of Sinn Fein voices in the BBC when his party is one of the two most predominant voices in politics in Northern Ireland. But Paul uses this (legitimate) gripe to pose a more interesting set of questions:

Is it possible for journalists to really mask their preferences? Should we be asking public broadcasters to go for a ‘diversity’ model of impartiality instead? Would we not be better served by lots of named correspondents with fairly well-known prejudices calling things as they really see them – rather than attempting the charade of even-handedness?

Contrary to the thoughts of some of our commenters views, one of the most exciting aspects of the Cameron Direct event was not the political appeal, the charisma, or even the nuanced messaging. But the fact that we began to in more interesting way what we achieved at times on the US election day: a distributed network of correspondents, all sharing their views via Twitter and the CoverItLive software, in one space.

In effect people were not just able to listen to and report on the speech but talk about it out loud; share judgement and reactions ‘out loud’ as though we were there. For me it was the multiplicity of perspectives that made it work.

De facto, the online distribution systems on the net are diverse and diversifying… As Dan Conover notes:

The great gray battleships of 20th century media are sinking, and the social web is adapting rapidly to fill the spaces they’ll vacate.

Not only should public service broadcasting have more Sinn Fein (and DUP) voices it should seek out a range of voices (from most representative to ‘I’m only representing me’) that bring a diversity of opinion to bare on range of issues and problems.

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