Thursday, December 15, 2005

Journalist Flees Kitchen

For those who already hadn't guessed, Nicky and I were journalists in a previous age.

So it is with some experience that we are critical of the media. One of its most glaring faults is its inability to adapt to new technology.

Nicky remembers the transition from electric typewriters to computers, I remember the installation of computers capable of WYSIWYG desktop publishing.

Now the latest evolutionary leap for journalism is the Internet and, more specifically, blogging. Some MSM journalists are trying it.

Some are highly successful, some crash and burn, while others, like the Sydney Morning Herald's Andrew West are downright terrified.

Writing for SMH's blog as The Contrarian, Mr West's quite thoughtful analysis on the Sydney riots polarised his readership and, it would appear, somewhat scared him to the point where he removed the post.

Exceptional journalist Tim Blair has the story here.

Regardless of interests or political colours, it tends to be a rare day indeed when a blogger removes a post. Even if one's premise is completely wrong and is demolished in comments by the readership it stands as an example of dynamic information collation.

Ironically there is a tenet of old journalism that has been picked up by this new wave of 'reporters' - you stand by the story.

For journalists, removal of the direct barrier between writer and audience is terrifying as it exposes them to the direct glare of public opinion.

In this case West couldn't stand the heat.

-- Nora

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