Poynter online, which claims to be cultivating a “better journalist” has published a piece by Amy Gahran on the Bullard issue in which she remarks:
Looking over Bullard’s grossly misinformed generalizations and borderline hate speech, I’ve got to wonder: Exactly which “newsprint rules” applied at the Sunday Times in deciding whether to run this particular column?
Great, Amy. Just a pity that you only linked to and reflected ONE SIDE of the Bullard discussion – the side you clearly advocate throughout the article. Isn’t the first rule of reporting to give both sides of the story?
David Bullard’s Sunday Times column was not kind to bloggers. If you missed it, here is a line:
Many bloggers prefer to remain anonymous and with good reason. The content of their sites is so moronic that even their best friends would disown them if they knew they were the authors. As with most things in life, something that costs nothing is usually worth nothing and that puzzles me. Are there really 70 million bloggers out there hoping that their writing talents will be recognised, or is this just another example of modern narcissism?
The response from bloggers has been outrage. Vincent Maher had this to say:
I think we need to demand an apology or a justifcation for what Bullard has said in his column, and what the Sunday Times has endorsed by publishing it – that we are the type of people who will gun down our fellows at university.
My feeling? I read Bullard’s column with both a chuckle and a gulp. A chuckle because Bullard is wicked. Which is why so many people laugh with him when he pillories the idiots. A gulp because its not so nice when you are lumped with his idiots. I have to disagree with his harsh conclusion that all bloggers are wannabe columnnists or pimply teenagers or psycho killers.
The irony for me is that Bullard is actually being true to the spirit of blogging, he’s just doing it in print. Think about it: Emotionally charged, unmediated, quickly researched, instinctive, raw and controversial. Now he was just a little more technologically literate, we could have a great blog on our hands …
The question I have is why do bloggers feel so threatened by an old media column? And why does an old media columnist feel so threatened by blogging? The answer is that we are living in a time of rapid change and the old is rubbing up rather uncomfortably against the new.
As for Vincent’s demand for an apology because the Sunday Times “endorses” what Bullard says by publishing it. I’m sure he’ll think about it and realise that the publication of opinion, varied, controversial and perhaps even insensitive is better than starting to sift through writing for anything that offends anyone. Like they do in Zimbabwe.
It’s official. The Times, a new daily newspaper under the Sunday Times umbrella, will be launched in June. You can read the Business Times report on the new paper here. In brief: It goes out free to around 120 000 subscribers; It will be a totally integrated paper which will offer readers a 24 hour news experience online and in print; It is being built from the ground up and will have its own news, photographic, mulitmedia and production staff. The current phase consists of designing the offices, recruiting the staff, designing the paper and rebuilding the site around interactivity. As the header to this article shows, it is going to be a paper for busy people, the majority of whom are online and it is going to be about helping them navigate their way through a growing torrent of information. In this new multimedia age, information is abundant – it is attention that is the scarce commodity. For more on this compelling argument see this interview with its originator, Professor Richard A Lanham.