Tuesday 13 January 2009

Realising Paul Mason's worst fears

The other day BBC journalist Paul Mason was talking about blogging at the National Union of Journalists. He still thinks the skills on offer in professional newsrooms are important to journalism in the future. And that 'pyjama bloggers' can't replicate them.

Unsurprisingly, there was some feedback to this comment. This was former colleague Kevin Anderson on Twitter:
"@craigmcginty Paul Mason using 'pyjama blogger' line? Paul embraced blogging at the BBC when I was there. Sad. No peer review in blogging?"
Paul later clarified his comments:
"Because the interview was for the union website it took a lot of things for granted. Those of you who know my work will know I am not anti-blogging: I am pro it - and I mean real blogging not the ersatz blogs the BBC lets us do. But I reject the theory that social media will simply destroy journalism; and that skill and status and above all income (!) cannot be defended in a world of easy-to-use technology. I certainly don’t dismiss bloggers. However I think their limitations are being exposed, just as journalists’ limitations are."
And indeed, Paul Mason's use of blogging to cover the G8 summit in 2005 helped people at the BBC understand how a blog could be a valuable journalistic outlet.

Today, I've been poring over blogging at the BBC in 2005 as part of a doctoral paper due to be published (if anyone fancies it) in 2010 and came across Paul's assessment of his G8 blog.

He concludes using his own emphasis:
"On that note, the blog takes a break. It will be left up here in perpetuity to be pored over by academics. Indeed I will hold a competition for a spoof doctoral media studies paper on this blog, published in 2020. Send entries in to the email address: 500 word summaries only. Soon the BBC will get its head round what to do about blogging. I hope this has helped."
So he was ten years too late but not too far wrong. Though I'm hoping my paper won't be a spoof.

Paul - Thanks for leaving it up by the way.


Graham Holliday said...

That's hilarious on the doctoral thesis thing... Who'd have thunk it.

I do remember his blog and he was really into it. I seem to remember him posting from his mobile. All very cutting edge.

BTW - you seen this guy?

Another armed conflict PhD. Haven't you lot got better things to do with your time ;)

The Dog of Freetown said...

Hey, I've been aiming for a spoof all along. I think you should delay publication for a decade...

Daniel Bennett said...

@Graham I think I am following Chris. Ta.

@ The Full Stop

Good to hear from you. Hope things are going well where you are. Looking forward to seeing how your spoof research is going when you get back in town!

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