Political blogging and the mediaEarly this morning over breakfast, political journalist Fran O’Sullivan addressed a decent size group of people on the topic of the Accidental Empire of Political Blogging.
The hosts were Rural Women NZ – although there were a good number of urban males present.
She was pretty critical of bloggers who blog anonymously – but did not extend this criticism to anonymous MSM editorial writers. She contrasted two left wing blogs, effectively claiming The Standard is left for dead by the authoritative Red Alert blog. Writers on the former blog do so anonymously, the writers of the latter do not. She seemed to think that those who do not blog under their own name cannot be as accountable. But anyone who wants to know who run most of the anonymous political blogs, such as No Right Turn and Roar Prawn, can find out who they are. Indeed, O'Sullivan herself appeared to know who many of them are. She also noted that some bloggers have lost their mojo, while most bloggers can "get away with more" as there is not the same requirement for balance, deadlines or fact checking as in the MSM.
I changed my blog recently and took out my name after getting stalked online after something I wrote.Yet as with the blogger at Ethical Martini,nearly everyone who lands here can quickly find out who I am – and I am certainly accountable for what I write. O’Sullivan even questioned whether a blogger would be sued. I know of only one political blogger who has been threatened with legal action – and if the blogger was with the media, the media outlet would defend any action, not the writer.
O’Sullivan was critical of some of the NZ on Air funded current events shows and questioned why bloggers couldn’t get some funding from a revamped organisation - NZ on Media - and also saw no reason why some bloggers could not get membership of the Press Gallery. After all, university newspapers can, and most of their writing is worse than many political blogs.
But, overall, the mainstream media see political blogs as positive.