That was the essence of what the man from the Today Programme asked me the day before yesterday, the result of which came out in this article on blogging and the Orwell Prize on good writing.
No, I said, basically. Blogging won’t be mature unless it starts sustaining a few people and becomes a serious enough medium that can challenge traditional media. Of course, I’m saying this with the likes of Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post in mind. American blogs take themselves seriously as an operation to push their agenda. TPM, which is my favourite example, has a team of paid staffers and some interns who research and write news, do digging into stories and produce video content every day.
To a certain extent its chicken and egg – you need the traffic to earn money to employ people and then do original reporting. But it’s not that hard – given how much original stuff is churned out by the likes of Tory Troll, BorisWatch and Dave Hill. In fact, as I’ll illustrate at my panel event at the Convention on Modern Liberty this Saturday afternoon, there are quite a lot of people out there using tools, Freedom of Information requests and more to do original reporting. Unfortunately, not a lot of it seems to get packaged into a platform like the HuffPo or TPM. I’m sure this will change eventually.
The way I see it, Pickled Politics is somewhat different. Our aim here should be to develop narratives and ideas that can then be made into part of a wider conversation around identity politics. That isn’t our only topic of discussion here, but I’d say its the over-arching narrative. In that sense it doesn’t have to be like the TPM’s of this world. But it does mean we have to constantly talk about and justify our ideas and stances on issues. It also means we have to be part of an ongoing debate and change when that changes.
I’ll write more about this soon, but I also want to illustrate how things have changed in identity politics over the last few years and how we were part of that dialogue.
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