17 April 2009

Guido, don’t become part of the mainstream media

Guido Fawkes, on the back of his Spectator piece, has an article in The Times on the journalists who did not tell the truth about Damian McBride before he broke the story.  He makes important points about client journalism:

For the past five years my blog has squarely blamed lobby journalists for failing democracy. Though the fourth estate may not have a formal constitutional role, its task is real. Journalists are to there to “speak truth unto power”, not trade favours for tittle tattle, not report spin as truth. From the start of this era of spin the lobby pack have been willing accomplices. It is hard to name journalists who can hold their heads high. There are only a handful of political reporters who can do so - victims of Mr Brown's war room such as Martin Bright, hounded off the New Statesman for failing to yield sufficiently to Downing Street.

Cowardice and cronyism run right through the lobby, who are fearful of being taken off the teat of prepackaged stories served to them. That is not journalism; that is copytaking. The many stories filed this week that reveal just how horrible Mr Brown's cabal have been are of mere historical interest. They would have been brave if they had been written before McPoison was toppled. They knew - and wrote nothing of it. They knew - and went along with it. Their revelatory articles of the past few days are merely confessions of previous personal professional cowardice.

Paul Staines has been responsible for breaking one of the biggest political stories in years by exposing the truth about how New Labour operates.  Steve Richards adds to this:

The creator of the Guido Fawkes website, Paul Staines, is in my view one of the most influential figures in the British media. One day this week I heard five items on the Today programme that followed up his stories or his observations. Politicians have not learnt how to cope with an individual who has as much impact as entire newspapers. He is one of the reasons why Derek Draper, the recipient of McBride's emails, felt the need for a left of centre equivalent.

I greatly admire Paul’s work and trust he will not be compromised by the events of the past week.  However, does he really want to become part of the mainstream media?  Taking Richards comment at face value, this where his and other leading blogs could well end up.

One further point, Paul has in the main worked anonymously.  I doubt, until his recent spat with Draper on the Daily Politics, that the wider public even knew who he was.  Will his recent fame and exposure now make it more difficult for him to ‘scoop’ the stories for his blog?

I trust Paul has already thought this through, and his blog continues for many-a-day in the same way that it has succeeded up to now.  This novice blogger certainly hopes so.

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  1. great blog and have much fun reading it in the past 7 days.

    You maybe a little tired ?? too much work ??

    the word is "thought" We all make mistokes