Thursday, 4 February 2016
It's easy to see why the Guardian is dying
One thing that used to set the Guardian apart from all the others was not the content but the quality of comment. If you were prepared to sift for the longer, better constructed comments, which are actually detectable without even reading them, you could often come across comments that were far better informed than the main article. That was before The Guardian deprecated comments, moving them down the page and hiding the mean threads.
In so doing, the Guardian made itself irrelevant in my eyes and I no longer need to go there for any reason except when a high profile individual is in need of a good fisking.
Comments are all about dialogue with the reader, and some of the comments I get, while few are an essential part of my education, and most recent, the inspiration for my latests posts. It;s true that I am ruthless in clearing out the Kipperish bilge and I don't bother to engage those still operating in the shallow end, but that policy is what has cultivated a noteworthy level of comment over on eureferendum.com.
A good comments section does not happen automatically. It has to be well moderated and cultivated , as indeed the Guardian's was for a time (before they started selectively cropping posts that they didn't agree with).
Comments are all part of the process and the means by which one can enhance ones own understanding. Arguments can only get stronger by engaging in robust debate. And that is what marks a blogger. Someone with the integrity to admit when they are wrong and incorporate what they have learned from discourse.
Not so for the low-grade celebrity gossip columnists at the Guardian pictured above, who seem entirely comfortable announcing to the world that they are in transmit mode only and have zero interest in dialogue. This is how "mainstream" commentary over EU affairs remains perpetually in the shallow end.
It is this dynamic that widens the gulf between informed blogging and so-called professional journalism. I'll give Behr and Cohen their dues in that, on the broader, more superficial topics, they have their moments - but when it comes to matters of detail, particularly regarding the EU, these bozos are playing at it. Like a little girl clomping around in mommy's high heels pretending to be a princess.
I doubt they are even aware of the thriving blogosphere around this issue, and wouldn't think of consulting it before peddling their witless wares. In this, from our media, we get a toxic blend of arrogance and ignorance that then feeds into the Westminster narrative. It's not called a politico-media bubble for nothing. Hence why we get shameless idiocy from Bronwen Maddox and Fraser Nelson on the matter of Article 50, and similar on the issue of Norway from both Cohen and the BBC.
It is the job of these people to know more than they do, but this dynamic is ultimately why they manifestly fail. They are shallow, vain, narcissistic and crass people who are very much part of the problem. It's easy to see why the Guardian is losing so much money and laying off staff. It is no less than they deserve.