International

Scalping

The Times takes a look at British political blogging:

Unlike their American peers, British bloggers are yet to take a major political scalp, but there are signs that the growing community of amateur online pundits is becoming an influential force.

As often in these cases Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads is the man quoted.

“British blogging is running as a very close second to America, I think primarily because we are talking about a much smaller population,” said Mr Ireland. “True, no British scalps have been taken yet, but give it time.”

I wouldn’t hold your breath.

The Blunkett case was an interesting study – while the media were chasing for the next bit of dirt hardly any UK bloggers showed any interest in the topic. I don’t recall a single blog calling for Blunkett’s resignation. Compare that with the attack dog behaviour of some of the right-wing American blogs over the Rather and Eason cases.

I really hope that the influence or import of British blogs aren’t going to be judged by whether or not we get a ‘scalp’.

Because I think there is a reason why UK blogs are different from the Stateside sites in this respect. The US media is far more conservative (small ‘c’) about going after people while the British media absolutely relishes scalping and hounding people.

Blogs on both sides of the Atlantic are reactions against their respective media. – an attempt by readers to fill the gaps or provide some kind of alternative. So the American blogs get busy with the scalping and are extremely partisan while British sites take a more hands-off approach.

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