Tag Archives: my Telegraph

Will good journalism be the first casualty of the digital revolution in the media? Part four

On My Telegraph, readers mainly discuss current affairs but the internet as a whole allows anybody to start their own news blog and become a citizen journalist.

Matt Drudge exposed that Prince Harry was fighting in Afghanistan

The Drudge Report broke the news about Prince Harry in Afghanistan

New York University journalism professor, Jay Rosen said citizen journalism is: “When the people, formerly known as the audience, employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another.”

Ian Hargreaves wrote in Journalism: Truth or Dare “[Web journalism] has placed the power to shake the mighty in the hands of individuals or small groups: a welcome, if provisional, antidote to media concentration, the hegemony of business values, and the complacency into which all professional groups fall from time to time.”

Last year, American online journalist Matt Drudge broke the news on his site the Drudge Report that Prince Harry was fighting in Afghanistan, even though all forms of British media had signed up to a reporting embargo to protect him.

The story had already been reported by a celebrity website in Australia called New Idea, although it went largely unnoticed at the time.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British army, said he was very disappointed foreign websites ran the story without consulting them.

He said: “This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.”

Mr Drudge claims he offers reliable and unbiased instant news. Indeed, political journalist Charles Reiss said truth breeds trust. He said: “There’s a gap between the picture people get of politicians from the media and from their own experience.”


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The What, Why and How of Newspaper Communities


How should journalists report on blogs?

Blogging gives writers the power to publish, but people should think carefully about what they write and journalists should think carefully about how they report on it.

Anything blogged is archived. It’s more than a passing comment and could be picked up and used by someone else, which is a good thing and a bad thing.

For journalists, the internet provides a wealth of material for stories.

On My Telegraph – a blog site hosted by The Daily Telegraph – a man whose daughters had been killed by a drink driver was blogging at the moment of the trial. As legal restrictions had been lifted, a story about his blog made a story in the newspaper.

Or a newspaper might run a story about the Bebo or Facebook page of somebody newsworthy.

Perhaps it’s the excitement of the now, which makes people forget it’s not always okay to publish pictures of last weekend’s partying or worse. They forget anyone can see and use it.

A blog is exciting because of its immediacy…

But blogging can also be used effectively to raise awareness of a cause. David Smith published an article in last Sunday’s Observer about singer-songwriter, Juliana Hatfield, who blogged during her treatment for anorexia nervosa in a mental hospital.

But it was distasteful for him to precede an excerpt of her blog with: “Here is the raw and unflinching account of Hatfield’s experience inside the clinic in Cambridge Massachusetts.”

His comment inappropriately tried to glamorise her harrowing blog.

…but perhaps too raw to be read by others.

Hatfield paused half way through her blog and wrote: “Before computers you never would have found me blabbing so openly like this about this. This is me being modern.

“Damn these computers and this interweb and the pressure on us musicians to update constantly and to communicate. It encourages, inspires over sharing.

“It’s so easy to say too much and to feel safe giving away one’s private secrets.”

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