Happy New Year! As most of the country got over the eating marathon that is Christmas, the Daily Mail and the BBC started a little spat about the latter’s increasing use of blogs. In particular The Mail is concerned about the blurring of the line between straight news reporting and the spouting of opinion, as well as the time journalists are wasting on blogging when they should be fact checking.
In an opinion column from Boxing Day’s edition, the Mail’s Stephen Glover eloquently lays into the Beeb’s business editor, Robert Peston, after a recent Panorama investigation into whether Peston had too much power. According to Glover, the report neglected to ask the most important question of all, which is “should BBC reporters be as free as they are with their opinions? Should they be expressing their opinions at all?”
Glover certainly believes they shouldn’t for that is the role of newspaper columnists, such as himself, and that by using the blogging medium that any editing is “cursory, if any at all” and that by allowing blogs to proliferate “the proliferation of blogs”, BBC managers were “disregarding the Corporation’s duty to be impartial”
Giles Wilson, BBC Blog editor, responded a few days later, in his first post since April 08. He obviously supported the importance of the Beeb distinguishing between news and facts and arguing that it is possible to write a readable blog without peppering it with opinion.
Which of course begs the question is it?
And if it is, then why would anyone bother to read a BBC blog on a current topic instead of the news piece that appears on the main site, for surely they would be the same?
Also posted at Clicking and Screaming