[LINK] grog gamut
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Mon Oct 4 15:30:23 EST 2010
Disclaimer: I'm a journalist.
I'm having trouble with this story.
On the one hand, I agree that News Limited was being self-serving in the
"outing" of GG, and likewise that its justifications aren't great. I
disliked the "Gotcha!" angle of the story intensely - it may be
justifiable if a publication is revealing something serious, like
corruption in high places, but when you're taking a stick to someone
with limited ability to defend themselves, you're just being a bully.
However: if there's genuine news value in the story, why should News
*not* publish? I can't think of anything in Australian law that
guarantees anonymity of a publisher - the Oz didn't break the law. Which
leaves us in a difficult position IMO: motivations rather than boring
facts determine the right and wrong of a story. How are we supposed to
Someone who writes anonymously is always taking the risk that their
anonymity will be breached. That's just a fact of life: the anonymous
author is a challenge not just to the journalist but to pretty much
anyone. The game of "unmask the Fake XXX Twitter account" isn't only
played by journalists.
Much of the response on Twitter is completely without any interest in
debate or engagement. It's just abuse, taking the form of (1) "agree
with me or I'll yell at you"; and (2) "if you don't agree entirely,
you're a News lackey". (Number (2) is really interesting for me, since I
once offended a News Ltd journalist so much that the front of my house
I'm also a little offended by the theme that only journalists who agree
with the condemnation of News Limited are capable of thinking about the
story or offering worthwhile contribution. Everybody else, and it's just
"journalists sticking together, don't understand the world of social
media, blah blah blah".
As a result, I've found myself doing something unusual, and on Twitter
at least, I'm just shutting up and leaving the whole stupid story talk
itself out. I long ago grew weary of trying to reason with people who
are shouting at me.
On 4/10/10 2:22 PM, Kim Holburn wrote:
> Why have I only just heard of this guy? Interesting story. I first
> read about him in the Canberra Times. Interesting story. Interesting
> opinions. Another example of the Murdoch press being self-serving -
> outing a blogger when they have just argued for anonymity of bloggers
> in South Australia.
> Australian unmasks anonymous blogger:
> And tries to justify it:
> The blogosphere abuzz!
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