Monday, 11 October 2010

Go on Andy! Get yourself a know you want to!


There’s been a slight frothing of the blogosphere in response to some comments made by Andrew Marr. Now, dear reader, since you are of a sensitive disposition I shall not share with you’re the full vituperation of the average pimply, basement-dwelling, social inadequate on the matter of Mr Marr’s parentage, ears, nose coloration, self-importance and general smugness – it’s all out there on many, many blogs.

Instead, my lovelies, I would rather consider quite why Mr Marr – and indeed other Initiates of the Media Elite – are quite so animated by bloggers. Not me of course since I write nothing of consquence and only write under the affluence of inkerhol. I’m also never up early enough to watch the stuff Mr Marr puts out – although I gather he has a corner in interviewing grand and important political figures on behalf of the BBC. So – since I’m good enough to hand over money for a TV Licence – I’m paying for Mr Marr to suck up to the great and good. And I’m a blogger (a rather poor excuse for one I know but a blogger nonetheless).

The truth is that pundits – and remember that this is what Andrew Marr is, he long ceased to be a journalist in any recognisable way – are threatened by bloggers. And not just by the Guido Fawkes of this world but by the great mass of questioning, doubting, opinion-forming and pomposity-pricking bloggers. It is these people who make Mr Marr’s programme so relevent not the tiny little audience he gets or the looping round of a selected clip on BBC News 24. Bloggers now shape how the world responds to what politicians say far more than does Mr Marr – and he doesn’t like it, just as Ian Hislop doesn’t like Guido, Bloggerheads and PSBook doing the job that, once upon a time, Private Eye used to do so well (before Ian became a celebrity rather than a journalist).

And, as we’ve seen with Iain Dale, Mark Pack and Will Straw, the blogger can produce fine interviews, insightful analysis and a level of detail seldom seem these days in the press or on TV. Moreover, describing the investigations of Wat Tyler, Anna Raccoon or Jack of Kent as anything other than fine ‘citizen journalism’ is to do them an insult and bloggers a further disservice. Most of us don’t do great stuff – we won’t be lining up for prizes, that’s for sure – but frankly there’s more interest, edge and excitement in what I read on-line than there is in the BBC’s entire current affairs production.

Rather than indulging in childish rants, the BBC’s grandees need to be thinking about how to work with bloggers to get more interesting, engaging and involving news reporting and current affairs discussion. Some of the leading newspaper journalists are now becoming successful bloggers – mostly because they’re good writers who know how to research a story. Perhaps Andrew Marr might like to sign up here and spend an hour of his day providing a little backgound, comments, thought and observation about his journalism – it would make him more interesting, would drive traffic to his TV show and would perhaps broaden his character beyond being ‘sycophant-in-chief’ for the Government’s media outlet.

Go on know you want to!

1 comment:

Pam Nash said...

I don't think Mr Marr has ever forgiven the blogosphere for the events of January 18th 2008 ;)