Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Tory lady for Slough

remember Peta Buscombe? If I remember rightly she was at one time the Tory candidate for Slough. Anyway, she is a grand fromage in media regulation these days, and she has this to say, hat-tip Iain Dale, with whom I agree on these matters:

Ian Burrell, who edits The Independent's Media Pages, has a very disturbing blogpost about the ambition of the Press Complaints Commission to regulate blogs. The new chairman of the PCC, Baroness Buscombe, seems to have gone native already and wants her empire to grow ever larger.
She wants to examine the possibility that the PCC's role should be extended to cover the blogosphere, which is becoming an increasing source of breaking news and boasts some of the media's highest-profile commentators, such as the political bloggers Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes. Do readers of such sites, and people mentioned on them, deserve the same rights of redress that the PCC offers in respect of newspapers and their sites?"Some of the bloggers are now creating their own ecosystems which are quite sophisticated," Baroness Buscombe told me. "Is the reader of those blogs assuming that it's news, and is [the blogosphere] the new newspapers? It's a very interesting area and quite challenging."She said that after a review of the governance structures of the PCC, she would want the organisation to "consider" whether it should seek to extend its remit to the blogosphere, a process that would involve discussion with the press industry, the public and bloggers (who would presumably have to volunteer to come beneath the PCC's umbrella).The PCC regulates the press online as well as in print, and its remit also extends to the Sun's radio operation, SunTalk.Blogging, with its tradition of being free and unregulated, sees itself as very different. But is it really?Er, yes it is. We might write the same bollocks as newspaper journalists, but we don't get paid for it, for a start. Many of us do not see ourselves as primarily news outlets, either. I'd estimate that ninety per cent of my content could loosely be described as comment.I see absolutely no need for independently operated blogs to be regulated by the PCC or indeed anyone else. If they want to propose a voluntary system of regulation, fine. But the day they try to mandate it is the day I will give up blogging.Or have I just given them an incentive to do just that?!

1 comment:

Oranjepan said...

I dunno, a good controversy is always good for attracting readers, and if pushing the boundaries means there is crossover appeal then that's good for those sites which can unpick the gaps between what people say and what they do.

So if the PCC extends its' remit and this means local newspapers would be encouraged to stop ignoring the competition then that's good news!