Irish blogosphere too dominated by the voices of angry ‘adolescents’ to be taken seriously…

Sunday Times journo John Burns has bad news for the Irish blogosphere…

…the blogosphere has been left free for “amateur” commentators and journalists. While some are entertaining, not one continually demands our attention. No Irish blog is important enough to read every day. Until that changes, you’ll be getting your news and comment on paper.

I hate to say it, but he has a point…Still, although I broadly agree with Suzy...

…a joint venture between those paid and unpaid may be possible – the so called and often belittled ‘citizen journalists’ without whom people in the Sunday Times and other places would spend a lot of time not finding things out or being able to write articles about.

…as I argued over a year ago, the Irish blogosphere is chronically under resourced by people who take the business of politics seriously… Of course there is nothing wrong with Twenty Major and his ongoing political cabaret, but for the conduct of political business, it remains entertainment, and utterly beside the point so far as real world politics and politicians are concerned…

One place I think Burns gets it wrong is in failing to recognise (or understand) the one real impact thestory.ie had during the summer, and that was that in giving access to real people to O’Donohue’s receipts, the story did not, as it would ordinarily have done, die with the Tribune’s (singular within the MSM) revelations in the early summer. Gavin and Mark’s data mining at thestory.ie and the use of some smart crowd sourcing at Politics.ie (which is not a blog, but a community that’s larger and been around for a great deal longer than most of the country’s bloggers)…

It was the crossing of real content with one of the few established communities political insiders in the Republic actually do read that ultimately disrupted Fianna Fail’s usual calculations to keep the story alive until the end of recess… But hey, you won’t read that in the newspapers (nor from Mulley it seems)… And that Burns fails to pick up this point reveals a blind spot to the generic competitor/collaborator potential of blogs per se…

Too much of what passes for journalism is of the he said, she said variety… or as Hugo Dixon put it at round table event in Paris I was at a few weeks back, ‘me too journalism’… That was fine once when only the big newspaper proprietors could control the means of production and distribution, but readers today want a richer fare in which they, and not the editor, make the key decisions about what matters…

Insofar as the Irish blogosphere is concerned, what we need, north as well as south of the border, is a higher adult to adolescent voice ratio… Then some of the gems that are already out there might get the rise in audience they truly deserve… And journalists like Mr Burns might hold the political classes to better account than they have been doing heretofore

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