Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Could we please keep the chatter down? Thank you.
As I await my family's return from Kate's singing "gig," hopefully bearing that delicious pizza from the Roadhouse in Riverhead, I have been reading blogs. Actually professional blogs, written by professional journalists, unlike this scribbler. Columns by Con Coughlin, Norman Tebbit, Damian Thompson, Peggy Noonan and Maureen Dowd. These have covered a rainbow of subjects ranging from the possible partition of Libya to the stagnation of the Roman Catholic Ordinariate, with financial crisis, immigration and right wing extremism thrown in between. All excellent and intellectually stimulating subjects. I have enjoyed all these writings, even though I have not agreed with every word that the columnists have written on their electronic pages. But such is the gift of a free press where such arguments and comments may be placed in the public domain in a fair and reasoned way.
Then the scroll down to the ubiquitous "Have Your Say." Page after page of unstructured, unthought, unreasoned reaction (usually full of spelling errers) by people who style themselves something like YouTubePete, TepidCocoa or Darkseid (sic.) And these are not tabloid blogs, but belong to the "quality" pages of the Daily Telegraph, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Yet they are byte after megabyte of pure drivel, often developing into protracted arguments between those who post their opinions.
Surely this ought not to have a place within the pages, electronic or otherwise, of true journalism. And is it not a cheap and cheerful way of enlivening the blog or the column itself? And do people, other than the interested parties who post, read this stuff? I argue not, as life is too short to waste on the meanderings of Phill2Curry when it comes to NATO policy.
Letters to the Editor was a different expression and discipline. Together with millions of others I have, on occasion, spend hours and more composing a reasoned note to the editors of many newspapers. I have had one or two published, but only after much agonized revision with both dictionary and thesaurus standing by.
What do you think? Comments may be left by.....
Posted by Tim Lewis at 7:31 PM