Tag Archives: Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Andrew Marr fails to learn from his own history

“It is frightful that someone who is no one… can set any error into circulation with no thought of responsibility & with the aid of this dreadful disproportioned means of communication”

That’s not a quote from Andrew Marr, but Soren Kierkegaard writing about newspapers in the 19th century. Here’s another:

“I do not mean to be the slightest bit critical of TV newspeople, who do a superb job, considering that they operate under severe time constraints and have the intellectual depth of hamsters.  But TV news can only present the “bare bones” of a story; it takes a newspaper, with its capability to present vast amounts of information, to render the story truly boring”

Strange that the author of one of the best histories of British journalism can fail to remember how each new platform for journalism has been greeted, and how fuzzy the concept of journalism is.

“Journalism includes drunks and dyslexics and some of the least trustworthy, wickedest people in the land … The reader doesn’t know who pretends to make the necessary phone calls, but never bothers; or that this one hates Tories and always writes them down.”

That’s a quote from Andrew Marr’s book. Here’s another:

“In a complicated, developed society, much of the most important finding out can only be done by people with narrower, sharper skills – microbiologists, meteorologists, opinion pollsters and market analysts, whose discoveries journalism simply passes on in a more popular (and generally distorted) form.”

Sounds like bloggers to me.

Marr doesn’t even need to look very far back. This fake-debate was laid to rest years ago (is anyone really claiming that citizen journalism will entirely replace professional journalism? Or still trying to compare blogging – a technical process – with journalism – a cultural construct?). As I tweeted yesterday: the year 2005 called, Andrew. They want their prejudices back.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy has written eloquently in defence of bloggers and the need to engage through social media.

How to spot a hoax Twitter account – a case study

Fake Jan Moir tweets on Twitter

The fake Jan Moir lays some too-good-to-be-true bait on Twitter

If you were following the Jan Moir-Stephen Gateley story that was all over Twitter today you may have come across a Twitter account claiming to be Jan Moir herself – @janmoir_uk. It wasn’t her – but it was a convincing attempt, and I thought it might be worth picking out how I and other Twitter users tried to work out the account’s legitimacy.

The too-good-to-be-true test

The first test in these cases is the too-good-to-be-true test, and this works on a number of levels. Jan Moir tweeting in itself was a great story – but not completely unbelievable. Her second tweet said “I have been advised by my editor to create a twitter account and offer my sincere apologies for any upset and distress i have caus” [sic] – a superficially plausible story. Would you buy it?

But there were some other too-good-to-be-true claims in her tweets. One said “My son is gay. I am not homophobic. Please read my article properly.” Does Jan Moir have a son? Is he gay? Would she announce it on Twitter? Continue reading