France is currently paralyzed by yet another strike. Unlike the ones you’re used to when visiting my country, usually from railway or airport staff, this one was launched by lawyers and judges alike, united against their government minister, Rachida Dati (read more here).
Traditional journalists have been covering the event as it unfolded. Google News brings you more than 300 bland and unsurprising articles.
The only place where you can read what’s going on in France’s judicial system is a blog. Maître Eolas, a lawyer who opened his blog 4 years ago, just published 64 testimonies from justice professionals. He even renamed his blog ‘Daily news from angry justice professionals’.
I see here the best proof that justice professionals in this country are the first ones to think that’s something is rotten in the media kingdom. To them, only Eolas’ blog is credible enough to collect their grievances.
Yes, blogs are dead. The amalgamation of all blogs in an imagined blogosphere has ended. OJB has nothing to do with *~ChElLe~*’s MySpace blog, for instance. It was about time late-adopters (you know who they are) realized this basic fact.
Blogging is about leading a conversation. Such discussions sometimes reach a level so high that it has implications in the public sphere. Maître Eolas’ blog served as a Cahier de Doléances for French lawyers. Just like Guido Fawkes’ role in Peter Hain’s resignation, Maître Eolas’ blog is now the Fourth Estate ; a real counterweight to government policies.
Do you know other examples of bloggers having an influence on public life?
Such a phenomenon might very well be limited to Western countries, where the market for journalists is such that it’s more profitable to write for one’s own pleasure outside the traditional media. In post socialist countries for example, the shortage of journalists is so acute that any blogger is hired by a media group after a few months’ blogging. In such conditions, barely any blog can exert any real influence.