A plea from a political 'journalist'
The Listener's political journalist Jane Clifton this week bewails the competition coming her way from bloggers, and from politician-bloggers.
And the poor dear -- who can frequently be found in her reports trying unsuccessfully to sort truth from spin (a job made more difficult by marriage to the odious Murray McCully, one would have thought) -- has good reason to worry. Her political columns usually eschew analysis for gossip, and issues for sport; Clifton epitomises the journalist who ignores the effect of politics on those over whom the politicians seek power, and instead simply reports the 'game.'
Well, many of us have become heartily sick of our political reporting being served up in such a fashion by such insightless unworthies, and are eager for something she and most of her ilk are clearly unable to provide: intelligent analysis. While bloggers don't always provide that, it's only early days, and it's clear enough from her bleating that the heat of competition is already holding a few feet to the fire.
If the likes of Clifton find their job and the way they're accustomed to do it made more difficult by the brighter light shone on their subject by bloggers than they can manage, then I'm all for it.
UPDATE: Clifton's column appears to have been released to the internet inadvertently, and has now been withdrawn. If you wish, however, you can read most of the cached version here.