This evening I had a damn good laugh after glancing at Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter, apparently set up in the wake of Hackgate to help him engage with new media.
So, how’s that going? Today, the Destroyer Of All That Is Good and Holy tweeted.
Tweeters who don’t like particular newspapers don’t have to buy them. Thousands of crappy blogs available.
Personally, I’m actually rather fond of “crappy blogs”, as Murdoch calls them. I like the idea of journalism and punditry becoming something that’s done as an act of citizenship rather than as a paid job. It strikes me as something that can be a tremendous force for good.
A few years back I set up the This Week in Mentalists round-ups to highlight good blogging on mental health issues, which became a collaborative, online endeavour by a collective of volunteers. Just a few months ago, I reviewed the New Media entries in the Mind Media Awards. In the running was an interactive site to promote men’s mental health, a video diary of a girl with trichotillomania, and the winning entry, the outstanding Confessions of a Serial Insomniac blog, the author of which was kind enough to invite me along to see her pick up her prize. I was impressed by just how much can be done to exchange ideas and information, and none of it behind a paywall.
While it’s true that blogging, vlogging and tweeting can be a bit of a free-for-all, there are numerous gems to be found, on innumerable subjects. They’ve also become increasingly a force for accountability and exposing all kinds of naughtiness. Not least in the way that Twitter users brought down the News of the World. No wonder Murdoch’s feeling uncharitable towards bloggers and tweeters.
Murdoch is basically a weak, dying T-Rex, robbed of his dominant position by the asteroid smash of new media. As with the passing of the dinosaurs, the fall from power of media dinosaurs is leading to an explosion of new, evolving forms. Keep your obsolete newspapers, Mr Murdoch. Vive la (r)evolution.