Tuesday, 12 October 2010

An invitation to Andrew Marr : Before you criticise blogging, look at Barnet

Andrew Mar has made the news by launching a tirade at Bloggers. He described bloggers (ie myself, VickiM, Mrs Angry, etc) as the following :-
Socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower nosed young men sitting in their mothers basement ranting.
He goes on :-
The so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night
In light of this, I invite Andrew Marr to consider the blogging scene in Barnet. It is a matter of record that the blogs of Barnet have become the "de facto opposition". Who is organising and leading the campaign against Library closures? Who lead the campaign against the Allowance rises? Who has lead the campaign against the so called "Future Shape" project. Whilst Mr Marr derides me, I've been contacted on many occasions by researchers from the BBC requiring background information on Barnet related stories. Many of the subjects of blogs on these pages have subsequently been picked up by National press, TV and radio. Dave Hill of the Guardian has recognised the value of good blogging and has listed two of Barnets bloggers amongst his top bloggers. I personally think he should add Vicki & Mrs Angry to his roster (especially as he's a bit under represented in the female blogging department).

What is especially frustrating is the fact that "proper journalists" such as Marr frequently use blogs for background research (although I suspect a lofty individual such as Marr has a pleb to do it for him so doesn't realise). I've found whole paragraphs copied by established press, without even a credit for the source. I don't really care, I don't do this for accolades, I do it because I passionately believe Barnet needs a blog such as mine. It is a matter of public record that since the blogs of Barnet took off, Barnet Council has taken note. Council policy has been changed on many occasions. Here is just a few battles we've won

* Getting Barnet Council to remove a video spouting Nazi propoganda removed from it's Youtube website.
* Held Brian Coleman to account for his behaviour before the Standards board
* Reversed the payrises for Barnet Councillors, making it a national story
* Highlighted the failings of the Barnet Future Shape program and EasyCouncil to national media
* Got the Grant Thornton audit report showing the failures of Future Shape into the national press

There are plenty of others.

In response to Mr Marrs other comments. I'm no more socially inadequate than any other Punk rock guitarist in a successful band, my pimples went long ago, Married with three kids, slightly seedy? you decide, still got my hair, still got hair, and haven't got a mum or a basement. I don't blog when I'm drunk very often (unlike many journalists) although it has been known.

I'm off to watch England now with my son. Have a good evening.


Anonymous said...

Marr's comments reflect a fear not only of new technologies, but also of the erosion of privileges they encourage: http://bit.ly/bkYMd2

baarnett said...

There's another critique of Marr here.

My autoblogometer has also noticed today that the s**t threatens to hit the fan over Brent Cross soon, if anyone is interested.

baarnett said...

In his defence, Marr may be referring mainly to people who add comments on blogs, rather than the bloggers themselves.

People who add comments sometimes are obviously ... obviously ... oh, I'd better stop adding comments like this rather than writing a blog...

Mrs Angry said...

Poor old Andrew Marr: that vivid description sounds rather like a projection of his own younger, spotty self, non? Add sticky out ears to the list: oh crikey. And ahem, it is not a description I recognise. Of course I am just an invisible fluffy headed lady blogger. Actually, though: Brett's comments are spot on - the truth is that as in this borough, blogging has moved in to fill the vaccuum caused by - until recent signs of hope - an absence of challenging local journalism, and sadly, a disunited political opposition.
As Rog suggests, the amount of hits and the fascinating background of many visitors to our blogs speaks more about the validity of blogging than anything else. I went to the Rude Britannia exhibition at the Tate recently and it struck me again how well political blogging fits into our tradition of cocking a snook at the establishment: a vital sign of health in any democracy. And that is why we must and will continue to say what needs to be said.

Rog T said...

As a dyslexic, thick, semi literate, punk rocker, I feel duty bound to prick the bubble of pomposity. This is especially the case when the bubble of pomposity is a pompous prick.