December 20, 2006
Stupid statement from Robert Fisk
From an interview with Robert Fisk in the UAE's Gulf News:
Has the proliferation of the alternative media – particularly online – helped present truer pictures?
Blogs are not a useful alternative press. I don't use the internet much, as I don't have time and there's no system of accountability. I know many journalists and writers now read everything online and then use it to write pieces, but that's just mirror journalism.
Well Robert, if you "don't use the internet much", how in God's name are you placed to comment on whether blogs are a useful alternative press or not? Given the immense censorship in certain countries, it is only via the internet - and these days, usually in the form of blogging - that citizen journalists and actual journalists are able to get stories out. Making a broad and dismissive statement from a platform of self-confessed ignorance is hardly the behaviour of someone worth heeding, is it?
Posted by secretdubai at December 20, 2006 07:09 PM
Filed Under: Media
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"no system of accountability" = no way to enforce a particular agenda?
Certainly quality control is an issue, but newspapers can suck too.
Posted by: eerie at December 21, 2006 12:12 AM
That's actually quite rich coming from Fisk - he's known among journalists for plagiarizing from others with wild abandon (blogs should be his friend!) or just plain making things up.
Posted by: SP at December 21, 2006 12:40 AM
That's disturbing to hear. I imagine Fisk is one of these older dinosaur type journalists who came of age in an era of manual typewriters & phone in deadlines. The internet age must be a little terrifying to him.
Holy Jesus, you have to actually read through stuff on the web to determine whether or not it's reliable! You don't have to do that with standard journalism, now do you?
What bemuses me is how people who don't want to deal w. something put up imaginary barriers and use frivolous reasoning to let themselves off the hook. Instead of just biting the bullet & saying: "This stuff is here. It's not going away. I better just suck it up & learn how to use it."
But it is amazing the amount of stupidity you hear fr. people like Fisk & many others about blogs. Lord forgive them they know not what they do [or say].
Now on a completely unrelated topic, I just came across the news about the "Benghazi Six" on the internet. Given the almost unnatural amount of expertise concentrated on 'Aqoul about the Guide's regime, could anybody shed light on what's going on (and been going on) there?
I think the case might be quite simple (but this is only my take on the issue):
There have been infections with HIV in a Libyan hospital (maybe it was even a children hospital?) and scapegoats had to be found. The Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor were perfect for that role.
This way, the Libyan state stays "clean" and the general notion of "all evil is of foreign nature" can be permeated.
Given the fact that it has by now been proven that some of the children had been infected with HIV before the nurses arrived in Libya, it is pretty clear that this is a purely political case.
I don't know whether it's also tied in with any still ongoing issues, but at least the Wiki article states that Qaddhafi had offered to order the release of the nurses and the doctor if the guy who got convicted for the Lockerbie/PanAm attack is released from Scottish jail and the exact same sum that Libya has agreed to pay for the Lockerbie attack is paid for the care of the HIV-infected Libyans.
Sooo ... seems to be quite unspectacular, simple cynical politics.
Posted by: MSK at December 21, 2006 03:12 PM
Oddly, as one of the founders of this place, I am sympathetic to Fisk's (admittedly somewhat silly) critique.
Blog journo whanking smells like the bother around m2k virus, etc.
In re The Guide, I am not in the mood to comment presently, shortly inchallah.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at December 21, 2006 05:19 PM
Fisk has a point, somewhat.
This Human Rights Watch Report was inspired almost entirely by accusations that started off on right-wing blogs and entered into the mainstream:
Right-wing blogs are, in fact, dangerous.
Posted by: Beacon at December 22, 2006 07:39 AM
I wish journos would have the same skepticism of government officials, or any source for that matter. All sources have the ability to be liars or fools, the bloggers are not special in that regard. Check and double check your sources and it shouldn't matter where the original tip came from.
Perhaps Fisk just needs another beating...
Posted by: Djuha at December 22, 2006 02:52 PM