A war of words has broken out between those who deny internet change at the Indy and the apostles of the new journalism at the Telegraph. First Tim Luckhurst at the Sindy took up the baton from Simon “who’s ever downloaded a podcast” Kelner and launched an attack on the Telegraph’s internet revolution.
Today the Telegraph’s communities editor, Shane Richmond, mounted a counter-attack in his technology blog. I am rather with Richmond who felt the steam had run out of the debate on newspaper blogs and the Independent is rather late in the game.
Having raised the question back in October, it seems to me that most of the fun has gone out of it. But the Telegraph remains a fairly soft target. The first two of their blogs I looked at today were Commons Confidential, not updated since March 7, and James Quinn’s business blog with no new post since February 28.
But rather than looking for facts, Luckhurst fell back on on an anonymous comment from a “leading website editor” who asks: “What is the difference between a short newspaper article and a blog post anyway?” I can’t believe any website editor, leading or otherwise, could come up with such a question.
Luckhurst seems to like anonymous sources. In the same article he quotes a “website analyst”. Last month he left himself open to a response from the BBC when he quoted “one BBC producer” in a critical piece about Radio Five Live.
The strangest part of his article is at the end where figures are given for the numbers of comments on blog posts at the Telegraph, TimesOnline, the Guardian, the Indy and the Daily Mail. The Telegraph post got two comments while the Times post by Ruth Gledhill on her successful Articles of Faith blog had notched up 39 (the number has since risen to 49).
I have not traced those of the Guardian (two comments) and the Daily Mail (one) but the Independent example with 10 comments was easily found. It is headed Comedy in 2007 — Updated and carried the dateline of March 22.
Odd then that the first of the ten comments wishes the author Julian an “amazing Christmas” and is dated December 22. The post itself dates back to December 21 but has been rewritten a couple of times since then.
With such incompetent blogging it is surely unwise of the Indy to launch an attack on the Telegraph. More than unwise, the only rational explanation for drawing attention to such stupidity is that someone there was out to sabotage their own story.