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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Warning do not enter: danger to democracy

Found a web connection way out here and see News Ltd CEO John Hartigan at the National Press Club yesterday gave an interesting, spirited and optimistic speech about the future of journalism for those prepared to make the very big adjustment to changing times and public tastes, and how News plans to thrive in this environment. While there is a plug for instances of good journalism even in the much maligned tabloids, and plenty about what should constitute better journalism, there is nothing in the speech about challenges such as observance of professional standards, responsibility and ethics including respect for privacy.

Hartigan however puts journalism on a pedestal while making some scathing unqualified generalisations about all the rest of us out here who might like to think we have something useful or interesting to say on subjects that the mainstream media doesn't always cover. So while you might think there are bloggers and bloggers , there are no distinctions for Hartigan.What you get from bloggers is "limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance" ; "the blogosphere is all eyeballs and no insight" and quoting one of News' own “the blogs and comment sites are basically editorial echo chambers rather than centres of creation”. This is a bit like a couple of other bald Hartigan assertions of recent memory such as "the current media privacy framework is effective and working well" in March and "Freedom of Information laws that barely function" in April .

Anyway I'll leave it to the reader to mull over another Hartigan claim in the speech that sounds a overreach to me that "amateur journalism trivialises and corrupts serious debate – it degenerates democracy into mob rule and rumour milling."

While democracy is going to the dogs, I'm on holidays . No mob rule while I'm away,OK?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:20 pm

    Let Hartigan blow hard, nobody is listening to him anyway - we get our news thru RSS and twitter. I'm scoping out buying put options on News Ltd in the next couple months. [not a trade recommendation, etc etc]