Who Rattled Andrew Marr’s Cage? I Think He’s Worried.
Andrew Marr’s rant against bloggers rather surprised me. His Sunday morning show is a fixture for me. I think his intemperate and short tempered polemic betrays an old-fashioned journalist’s insecurity and fear of the new media
Someone in his privileged position has only to sneeze and he will be published in front of millions. I admire his work but there are thousands, equally capable and with equally valid opinions who are now able to express themselves widely on the internet. The real question is when will the “dead mens shoes”, “who you know not what you know” culture be overturned? Let’s not be shy here, I know my writing is generally better than most that’s published in the national press, yet I only enjoy that audience occasionally. Those, like Andrew Marr, who already have their foot in the door, shut it firmly in the face of their challengers and competitiors. It’s a closed shop, much worse than any trade union restrictive practice.
I do agree with him completely about anonymity. It is a matter of pride to me that, wherever I can, I use my own name when writing, commenting, abusing, complimenting, agreeing or yes, occasionally, even ranting. I also agree, in this one instance only, with that obnoxious little billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, when he said “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”. I think he’s absolutely right on this and I hope more people will follow his and my example.
Overall though Mr Marr, I think your rant about bloggers says more about you than anything else – and you’re right to be worried. I hope you stick around but there’s plenty of dead wood in journalism and broadcasting that needs chopping out. Editors are the lazy ones, the real culprits. It’s easy for them just to sign off the same old names time after time. They have become far too powerful and need taking down a peg or two. They should be scouting round the blogosphere for new talent instead of sitting on their backsides getting fat and lazy.