There I was tucking into my shrimp salad and listening to one of my heroes, a living icon of broadcast journalism in Britain, dismissing my blog as “egotistical nonsense.” She didn’t actually mention my blog, of course, but that is how it felt. Emboldened perhaps by the Chardonnay, I pointed out that although my audience can be measured in the dozens, there is interest nonetheless in what I have to say. I know I have an audience because they post comments on my blog and send me e-mails... By the time our pudding arrived, Kate had admitted that what she really objected to was not so much weblogs, as the idea that journalists should spend their "precious time" writing about how they obtained their stories: “You are blogging to a peer group - that's all right - I can understand there is a demand for that. But journalists shouldn't have any time to blog - there are too many stories waiting to be told!” The other thing that Kate objects to is BBC managers who blog during working hours. Their weblogs, she maintains, are proof they have nothing better to do. I am not mentioning any names.
What utter blinkered claptrap. Nick Robinson's blog has become an integral part of what he does. He has perhaps two minutes on screen to report on what's going on, but by using his blog he can explain the background to his reports and let the viewer in on how he got a story. The same with people like Kevin Marsh and Richard Sambrook. The BBC Editors's Blog (one year old this week) has become hugely popular as it makes them more accountable. Jon Snow said on THIS WEEK last night that for the first time journalists like him are being critiqued, and they don't like it. Witness the reaction to some recent stories about journalistic endeavours on this blog... Snow, to his credit, thinks this is a good thing, even if it makes him feel uncomfortable from time to time. There's going to be a lot more of it as people become less willing to accept what they read in newspapers or hear on the television as fact. The success of blogs is at least in part attributable to the failure of the mainstream media to account for themselves in a way their readers and viewers can accept. We have come along way since Barry Took presented POINTS OF VIEW.