Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Hold the presses! Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, has held a meeting. Over at Slugger Mick Fealty gets precious about the genesis of this 'story'. Conall McDevitt hails its exposition as a triumph of new media.
Let me enter one slight note of dissent. This is far from a triumph of new media.
On the contrary, it is a prime example of a non-story which gets picked up by mainstream outlets, between tentative thumb and forefinger, simply because it has been given a mischievous interpretation by a journalist acting in his capacity as a blogger.
The thinking, roughly stated, is 'oh maybe this is significant, we'll mention it, leave out the scurrilous insinuations for safety's sake and append some extraneous detail'. It's actually an example of new media perpetuating bad journalism.