Andrew Marr has been a hero of mine for a long time. Unfortunately the shine completely fell off this week, when he denounced bloggers as ‘inadequate, pimpled and single’ , while citizen journalism also gets the benefit of his boot, being described as ‘the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night’. The rant doesn’t end there, which was carried out against bloggers, at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. This is an incredibly unfortunate episode – the significance of which shouldn’t be underestimated. When someone this influential in the media industry speaks out with such vehemence against bloggers, it’s something you sit up and take notice of.
The single biggest problem with Andrew Marr’s argument, is that he dismisses bloggers in total, as if ‘blogging’ is the unifying factor and therefore we all operate in the same way. This is completely illogical, as if by becoming a blogger, you are immediately like all other bloggers. Compare a Mashable to a Wiggly Worms blog and you see where his argument really falls down ; they are completely different from each other. A blog is a means of producing content, it is a form of content in itself. It really is time to get away from the idea of ‘bloggers’ being one and part of the same crowd. It is really no different to criticise bloggers, than it is is to criticise writers outright. Any point that Andrew Marr might have had is unfortunately lost in this. But putting this misunderstanding to one side, is there any validity in his arguments against citizen journalism?