Blogs versus 'real' news

  • Chris Long
  • 11 Jan 07, 02:19 AM

In retrospect I think I may have been a bit rude and I guess I could have been a bit more sympathetic to the view point, and, let's face it, I could have kept my trap shut. But then I didn't, so here I am.

Here at the centre of the shiny box universe we are privy to all sorts of treats - if you like nasty soggy rolls they are provided at lunch time and if you desire coffee; that's available too - so we aren’t starving.

As part of the entertainment there is a press room that has around a hundred notebooks running Windows Vista where the world's technology press goes to file stories, send e-mails - and in my case play a couple of rounds of spider solitaire.

It's entertainment if you like watching a bunch of journalists poring over keyboards muttering to themselves producing a soft cacophony of expletives, laughs and sighs.

Generally, though, it's a rum bunch up for a laugh.

Until earlier this morning, that is. While attempting to break my solitaire record a man with a beard sighed loudly and proclaimed to us all: "That dang Apple story is over all the tech news pages".

I rather smugly thought to myself well it ain't all over ours.

Let’s face it "Apple makes big noise over 'so what' product" is hardly a news story to lead with even on a slow day, but I kept my own counsel.

The bearded man went on telling us about the blanket Apple coverage.

I said: "You should try the BBC tech website we aren't leading on the Apple story."

He came back: "I only ever look at the blog sites... " and I heard myself say "Oh I see. Sorry, we only deal in real news…”

I think I'm a bad person for saying that; am I wrong? Sure blogs are an important tool but is that it?

Surely we don't go to people who "heard it from some bloke" for our news? "This is the news at Ten, according to my mate this new Apple phone is really good and innovative - innit"

Don’t get me wrong - I'm all for giving opinions (could I honestly say anything else) but we don't have to take them SERIOUSLY do we? I mean the sound of a crowd of Steve Jobs obsessives grinding axes is hardly important to the rest of humanity.

It seems to me that this is the catch to free speech on the web - you have the complete freedom to spout the most unutterable rubbish (which for the record I support), but before too long it becomes some people'a reality - and that can't be good.

There are some things that the BBC does spectacularly badly and there are times when we get it wrong. But by god, we would miss the reality that it and all the other grown up news organisations bring to us if they went away.

Long live real news

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 03:50 AM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • mike wrote:

Real news on Click? I must have missed it.

You're in Las Vegas at CES, not Darfur.

Enjoying your real blog though.

Blogs may not actually convey the news, but they do convey the reaction from people receiving the news.

It wouldn't do editors and journalists any harm at all to sit down and browse blogs to look at the reaction to their reporting.

Perhaps then some news organisations would begin to realise that some of their output is purely comment pretending to be reporting. Or, in the worst cases, exagerated presentation deliberately promoting fear uncertainty and doubt to get ratings and sales.

At least with blogs there are no pretentions to reporting - it is purrely comment and some of the most amusing blogs I've seen are where it isn't the news being commented on, but the manner in which it was 'reported'.

News vs blogs? I thought that debate was settled two years ago... ?

  • 4.
  • At 12:57 PM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • Rossana Espinoza wrote:

I got the feeling that some of these reactions towards emerging new ways of communication, certainly more personalised are going to change the way we perceive the news so calling what is not in a blog "real" news really makes ouchh!, especially coming from a blog journalist.

How about the way media broadcoasted a version of Saddam's execution that give us a picture that has not relation whatsoever with what really happened there and that we got it from a couple of mobile phones, so this means that we should not take this seriously either?

Just because it does not come from a traditional means like the news at ten does not mean it is not real. For me apart from entertaining (the news at ten works better than sleeping pills for me sometimes), it is informative, I am sure you get a lot of rubbish, in blogs as you get a lot of rubbish from traditional media when hearing what people say in the news (journalists and those who make the news), just remember it comes from people as well.

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  • 6.
  • At 11:49 AM on 12 Jan 2007,
  • JMW wrote:

That is such a classic problem; if people talk about something a lot, that very fact is news! So if you can get enough people talking about your product, then you start a snowball as reporters of various kinds feel obliged to comment on the "new thing". But in the absence of information, or alternatively that information being obscure and hard to work out, all anyone has to work with for their story is the hype. This happens more now than ever before, as you can quote the hype in seconds with a link, but researching it takes just as long! I still do not know what this product does, but I will find out when things cool down and people have time to do analysis.

  • 7.
  • At 12:09 PM on 13 Jan 2007,
  • Antony Hutton wrote:



Not interested to be honest and not the point either.I was only interested in seing photos and a couple of lines of description/spec of the products over 2,700 exhibitors were showing at the CES show as I could not make it, along with many millions around the world.

I do not care if it's a blog or the BBC that do it (although I do pay the BBC! via licence fee!)as long as they do it and do it well.

Now add up all the photo's/column inches and products across your (BBC)web sites and tell me just how many products the BBC reporters reported/photographed back on and how many British company's they sought out and interviewed?

At a conservative guestimation well over 15,000 products were on display did the BBC cover 25/50? in total.

Pathetic and an expensive waste of time and money.Next year get two willing posters off theses B/Bs pay their airfares,put them up in a standard hotel and just watch the coverage that comes back for those interested in what was actualy revealed/on show at the CES show (apart from Apple/Windows)!

  • 8.
  • At 10:06 AM on 14 Jan 2007,
  • Marcos wrote:

I think most people realized that main news tend to be biased and often emphasize what's in their agenda. I find blogs a bit more honest and they can provide Real News that otherwise might never make it to the "real news"


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