Mixed feelings


Since last Thursday’s bombings in London, I have been troubled.  Like many other bloggers, I have posted a mixture of information, opinion and reflection on that day’s events.  Whilst I believe that I have done so with good motives and a clear conscience, it is hard not to feel that one is, in some small way, taking advantage of a situation or exploiting it.  Interestingly, when I shared this concern with fellow London blogger PinkFairyCat, she pointed me towards a post by Viennese Metroblogger Heinrich Hinterhalt, in which he questions where blogging ends and journalism begins.  Although Heinrich’s piece is short and far from conclusive, it does go someway to starting to explore the nature of the relationship between newspaper reportage and ‘citizen journalism’.

“blogging is on the way to reestablish choice of news sources, an alternative to politically influenced (read: abused) mass media. bloggers were the first to announce bush’s reelection, they tell you about all possible and impossible things you won’t read elsewhere from every imaginable point of view […] in my personal opinion blogging and journalism are two very different things meant to coexist. journalism should be serious, well investigated, checked, double checked, spellchecked, authorised by independent editorial staff… not to speak of critical unbiased and well written. blogging on the other hand is fast, it’s free and it’s fun. and it opens it’s readers a world of choice […] all in all it’s yours – the readers – decision: read it, or delete it.” [all links are Heinrich’s]

How strange then that, this morning, I learnt from a friend that one of my posts to the London Metroblog had been quoted in today’s Guardian newspaper in Mark Honigsbaum’s article on the role that blogs play in covering such events.

“From messages of support superimposed on well-known London landmarks to angry weblogs and defiant postings on community message boards, the internet was fizzing with responses yesterday to the London bombings. Many of the messages were posted by commuters who narrowly missed becoming victims of Thursday morning’s bomb atrocities. Others chronicled the appalled reaction of Arabs and Muslims eager to distance themselves from the acts of the terrorists. But interspersed with moving first-person accounts and agonised soul-searching there was also much defiant humour.”

Maybe I’m being arrogant and self-centred in thinking that folks actually care about what and how I write about in my blog posts.  Whatever the truth is, I hope that what I do write is fair, has integrity and adds to the debate, rather than detracts from it.


2 Responses to “Mixed feelings”

  1. pigpogm says:

    > Maybe I’m being arrogant and self-centred in thinking that folks actually care about what and how I write about in my blog posts.

    One of the nice things about blogs is that those who don’t care what or how you write won’t be reading it.

    For me, reading your coverage has added a more personal element to the whole thing – thanks.

  2. robin says:

    I saw that and thought “Well done”.

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