My one (!) reader may have noticed that entries to this blog have been thin on the ground. There are several reasons for this. One is pressure of work. The demands and deadlines of a full-time job, along with those of a part-time one as well, means that time for writing has been curtailed to near zero. Just having the time to do the normal ‘stuff’ becomes an exercise in time management. Thankfully, for the next few weeks due to a small operation, I am confined to barracks for R&R and now have time to muse on the issues of the day.
Another reason is that many bloggers who I follow, such as Frank Davis, Delingpole, Dick Puddlecote, Wattsupwiththat, and Chris Snowden of ‘Velvet Glove Iron Fist’ have covered the issues that annoy me and many others, and covered them in a much more professional way than I ever could. I appreciate that having a blog is not about professional journalism, but these people have a style and presentation which surpasses most MSM output. Which got me thinking.
Looking at the daily scribbles from the likes of the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Express etc, most of this is not what I would recognise as proper journalism. It is for the most part churnalism. So called facts from NGO’s and Government bodies are presented verbatim, with rarely any investigation as to whether the information is rooted in properly researched data. We all know the nonsense that is presented regarding climate, smoking, so-called obesity epidemics, the foods that are ‘good’ and those that are ‘bad’. In my lifetime I have seen most foods yo-yo between the good and bad camps more times than I care to think. At one time, journalists would check facts, ask for original source material, and present a well researched piece that would inform. This was especially so in the heavy weight papers such as the Telegraph and Times, where their very reputations hung on the quality of the articles. Of course, there have been many mistakes over the years, and journalists can be as easily mis-informed as the rest of us, especially when it comes to briefings from government ‘sources’. But all means were taken to check facts, and therefore a more rounded article was presented. All we get now is something that could be read on the website of WWF/Green Peace/ASH/etc..etc. Which then begs the question: Who, these days, is presenting the facts??
And the answer to that of course, are the blogs, such as those mentioned above. There you will find, for the most part, well researched facts and articles presented in true journalistic style. Searching questions are asked. There used to be an old journalism mantra that an article had to address 5 basic questions: Who, What, Why, Where, When. Print journalists appear not to follow this to any degree any more whereas the bloggers embrace it. ASH issues a statement professing that because of x we get y. The MSM regurgitates it, the bloggers ask ‘where does that data come from’. The usual outcome of this is that actually, x doesn’t mean we get y because x doesn’t even exist.
Of course, the print MSM are not only at fault in this. The BBC jumped on the churnalism bandwaggon decades ago, especially with its pet areas such as climate. ITN doesn’t fare much better and I understand the American news outlets such as CNN, CBS, Fox etc are as bad or worse.
I don’t normally make new years resolutions as I cannot change most things in my life as they are outside my control. But I think this year I will make an exception. That is, I will derive all my news from blogs, and eschew the MSM entirely.
The blogs are the last bastion of true journalism and we need to support them.