Wednesday, 2 March 2005

An Observation

by Dom Corrigan

Reading Harry today I discovered that the Observer newspaper has started its own blog.

Harry writes,

Already there are commenters to the Nick Cohen post claiming the Observer Blog can't be a blog because it is not independent of the Guardian media company.

I don't think people should get worried about 'big media' blogging. There might be a case for concern if such media were buying up existing bloggers...but a paper setting up a site for their journalists to blog isn't a threat to anyone, its just another addition to the big mix.

And, as usual, Harry's pretty much bang on. The thing is, given the hotshot journos who write for it, most of the writing on the Observer's new blog doesn't really grab me. Now, it could be that this is because they're a bunch of Lefties, but I read and enjoy the brilliant Oliver Kamm, Crooked Timber and Normblog daily.

It could be that they are essentially writers for the Guardian, an organ whose credibility has been largely fisked out of existence by erm, more or less everyone. We've even had a go.

No. What makes a good blog is enthusiasts who think, have an opinion and write well. The Observer's blog has writers who are skillful with words, and have an opinion, but having used their best thoughts in their published work, can they really write something different? Is there any reason for us to go there, rather than to the newspaper or to the multitude of other great blogs out there? I do not believe so. While there are some good corporate blogs out there, the great blogs belong to the independents. May it always be so...

"How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill;

* * * *
"The man is freed from servile hands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
Lord of himself though not of lands
And, having nothing, yet hath all.

An anthem for bloggers?


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