Friday, August 10, 2012

No thank you

Steven Baxter who thinks of himself as a blogger but is, in fact, a clogger, as he writes a blog for the New Statesman suggests that, perhaps bloggers need a kitemark to gain their readers' trust. Apparently, not only did he discuss this with some right-on (or left-on) bloggers but the subject has also been raised by the NUJ.

Well, that's just dandy. The NUJ, one of the most discredited organizations in this country, is going to invent a scheme whereby bloggers, who try to steer clear of their political agenda, get a kitemark allegedly to gain their readers' trust.

I don't think so, comrades. Your readers might or might not trust you but my readers tell me if they disagree with me or they simply stop reading if they feel that what I write is untrustworthy. And that goes for all real bloggers.


  1. Isn't this just part of a much wider push to control journalists? In 2006 the UN AoC Organisation's High Level Group recommended the following:

    "1. Media professionals must develop, articulate, and implement voluntary codes of conduct. The power of words and images in shaping our understanding of the world cannot be overestimated. Media professionals must use that power responsibly. In this regard, accurate reporting is of primary importance. But it is not enough. Journalists and producers must also be alert to the impact that editorial decisions and opinions implicitly conveyed in reporting can have on the public’s perception of an issue. Standards have been articulated by associations such as the International Federation of Journalists, but are not implemented and enforced by professional associations with the consistency and rigor with which, for example, the legal and medical professions apply their professional guidelines and codes of conduct. Adherence to such standards is particularly critical during times of crisis when popular emotions and fears are heightened and in covering the intersection of religion and politics."

    I can see that journalists, if constrained by this, and the EU would happily implement it, would want to see their "opposition" similarly curtailed.

    As Dr North is fond of pointing out - often behind all such utterances is the overreaching hand of the UN.

  2. Indeed, all such controls have an ultimate aim - and this one is a clear desire to control what is said and who is allowed to say it. So, presumably, at some point if you oppose your country's membership of the EU you don't get your "kitemark" (for expressing xenophobic views). And of course all the while the authorities are then clamouring for those who don't have a "kitemark" to be barred from blogging "to protect democracy". Presumably using the power of comment "responsibly" includes not drawing your readers' attention to the impact, for example, of the EU on your nation's democracy. As the Foreign Office advised opinion formers 40 years ago, it is best for all to conceal the degree to which the nation would lose its powers and voters their influence. Suppressing the truth, they appeared to accept, would be an act of responsibility...