There seems to be a new group of people, a bit like an exclusive club, who have bandied together and who describe themselves as “politicos”. This group of people is an assortment of bloggers, social media enthusiasts and it now seems pretend journalists. I am a regular blogger myself, but I blog to express my political viewpoint and to agitate against the Agreement I so strongly oppose. I am clear and unashamed about that. I am not a politico and nor am I a journalist. Some of these bloggers, most of whom are peace loving tree huggers (seems to be a core condition of acceptance into this exclusive social group) now describe themselves as journalists.
In a most bizarre situation, I could apply to the NUJ and be granted membership on the basis of my blogs. Yes, imagine how absurd it would be to have me propped up on the media bench in the courtroom or attending press conferences to ask questions. It is however no more bizarre than some of the lunatics who split their time between sitting at home ‘blogging’, attending tree hugging rallies and slithering around party conferences being considered as journalists.
The thing about traditional journalism is that there is some element of accountability, and in nearly all cases there are legal remedies open to challenge traditional media. They have accountability through their editor and the press complaints commission. The “politicos” and “bloggers” are unaccountable, they have no editor and really they want to enjoy journalistic privileges just because they buy a notebook and pen and post a picture of it on twitter. I can go down to the sports shop today and buy a Manchester United shirt, get Bryson 7 printed on the back and kick a ball around my garden; it doesn’t mean I play for Manchester United!
Blogging is not journalism, what paper in the United Kingdom would print some of my blogs? I would say none of them because they wouldn’t have a big enough legal budget! That is why I am a political agitator and to express my political views I use blogging and social media to spread my message, to write what I believe to be the harsh brutal truth that traditional media couldn’t publish. That is precisely why I am not a journalist. Yet if my blogs were more flowery, cloaked in more pandering language and sought to please everyone then the “twitterati” and “politicos” would consider me one of their own. They might even describe me as a “journalist”. How absurd. Think about it for a moment, the only difference between me and the rest of the ‘bloggers’ is that my political views are deemed extreme. So the logic of that is if the peace loving, tree hugging bloggers are accepted as ‘journalists’ well then so should I be. Now let that sink in, would anyone seriously describe me as a journalist? Of course they wouldn’t!
This social group of “politicos” is a nonsense. It is a group of tree hugging nerds who have come together to pander to each other and assist in making each other feel like important political and media contributors. Of course they also band together like attack dogs to challenge traditional values and they cannot wait to leap on the next band wagon of ‘progression’. The ‘politicos’ went into overdrive attacking Jim Wells. The comments by Mr Wells were for the most part disgraceful and wrong. The claims about abuse were wrong and should I point out equally offensive to single parents and unmarried couples, but that was lost in the gay rights frenzy that followed. What about single parents rights? Or unmarried couples rights?
As much as Jim Wells comments were wrong, if I were him I wouldn’t for one minute have bowed to the lynch mob of ‘politicos’. They could have had all the rallies and stuck up all the posters they wanted and I would not have resigned. Jim Wells should have resigned in his own time, if he felt it was the right thing to do, not because of some social media and tree hugging campaign against him.
The institution of the traditional media is an important part of our society, the right to a free press has been a vital part of the fabric of our democracy since the days of the Magna Carta. It would be a shame if this proud institution was allowed to be sullied by amalgamating traditional media with a bunch of hysterical bloggers and allowing them to take on the title ‘journalist’. They aren’t journalists and nor am I. To prove this point I will apply for membership of the NUJ- there is no reason to reject me, and then I can swan about the media benches of the court, political conferences and just about any event going and blog from there as a journalist. Of course this would make a mockery of journalism, so it is about time someone made the distinction between a band of hysterical nutters calling themselves ‘politicos’ and ‘journalists’ and proper bona fide journalism. It won’t be long before the next bandwagon the tree huggers jump on is ‘equality for journalists’. At this stage it will be hard not to be a journalist, given that most people possess a pen and paper somewhere in their house!