Monday, March 14, 2011

Blogging - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Oxford Dictionary Online defines a Blog as "a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis."

Whilst I am a relative newcomer to blogging, these website/pages have been around for quite a while. I thought I'd share with you some of my thoughts concerning some good, bad and pretty awful blogs that I have come across.

Lets start with the crap.

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun
There are many reasons why I dislike this blog.

  • I do not share the political views of Mr Bolt. From his attitude on Climate Change, the Federal Government, the stolen generation and nuclear power to his offensive commentary on asylum seekers, (particularly with regards to muslim immigration) there is not a lot that I agree with him on.

  • The blog topics appear to be created not to promote reasoned discussion but to encourage and promote the biases that he has. Take as example 4 of his blog topics posted in the last couple of days:
What's your next lying excuse Wayne?
Sack this disgrace now.
The real disaster, not the media one.
Exit Laughing

  • I believe the moderation of the blog is very poor. Moderation occurs when responses by the public to a blog are vetted by someone before being posted to the blog. The moderator acting for Mr Bolt seems keen to stifle critcal assessment of the arguments put forward by Bolt, but doesn't appear to be too concerned about posting blog responses that are inflammatory, defamatory, obscene or just plain incorrect.
It is unfortunate that there are a number of "shock jocks" that have been provided with blogging space by papers under the News Corporation banners, including the aforementioned Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine, and Piers Akerman. (Though not all their bloggers are fruit cakes. Details below.)

The Good.

The blogs discussed above are all professional blogs, in that people are paid to create them.  Some of the best blogs are those created by non-professionals, as an outlet for their interests, views etc. One of the best blogs that I have read comes from a person called Greg Jericho, with his blog Grog's Gamut. You may have heard about this website, as it became quite public last year when Greg's identity (previously kept secret) was revealed by James Massola,  a "journalist" from The Australian in September (read his article here)(and read Greg's response here).

Greg has a passion for politics, sport and movies, which he blogs about on a regular basis.  His articles always appear to be well researched and often (when dealing with current political issues) seems to be able to analyse the day's events by stripping away the crap to reveal the substance. If you want to read something worthwhile, I suggets reading his blogs.

Other reasonable blogs that cover areas of politics, the media and related issues include The Failed Estate, Pollytics (on Crikey!), and George Megalogenis in The Australian (though sadly on leave at the moment).

You would have noticed that all the blogs mentioned above mainly cover topics associated with politics, and the media's handling of political events. Yes, I do spend a bit of time immersing myself in political issues. And yes, I am finding it less useful to get my weekly dose of political discourse through traditional media (I am particularly disappointed with the downhill trajectory of Insiders on ABC TV, and pretty much anything on ABC radio that tries to analyse anything remotely political).

I'll cover other, non-political, blogs in a future blog.

Another good blog about media reporting of politics can be found here at The Political Sword

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