Boris Johnson welcomes online debate

Boris Johnson says he has welcomed how the internet has opened up journalists to scrutiny by readers, comparing the process of publishing articles online as akin to “tiptoeing to a cage with a hunk of meat, and nervously prodding it through the bars”.

“Sometimes the blogosphere will seem happy with the offering and the beast will briefly growl approval; and sometimes there is such a yowling and clamouring that we feel like Clarice Starling as she sets off down the corridor of mental patients, in search of Hannibal the Cannibal,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

“Politicians are being held to account by journalists; journalists are being held to account by their readers – and it cannot be long, the internet being what it is, before the wind of popular scrutiny blows through all the bourgeois professions.”

Johnson himself is no stranger to riling the comments section, having been given a fair bit of abuse by one Telegraph poster named ‘pheasantplucker’, and he suggests that such commentators are becoming more powerful. “As a politician who loves writing, I must tremble before the wrath of pheasantplucker, but I also rejoice at the change that has taken place. A broadcast has been turned into a dialogue…”

(Source: The Telegraph)

Image taken by Flickr user Steve Punter, licensed under Creative Commons.

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“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”


Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.


(Source: POLIS)

 

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