Account and accountability: The Blogger vs Venue

The Blogger wrote a letter recently to Venue in response to an article on local bloggers, which featured this blog. Of course I can’t link to the actual article because they still don’t put their editorial on the internet …

They featured a fairly random selection of blogs although, oddly, the article was fronted by two Tory blogs – James Barlow and Charlotte Leslie – while they found no space for Labour’s Kerry McCarthy, one of the few blogging MPs in the country.

Of The Blogger, they said because it’s written anonymously it wasn’t accountable, which elicited this response:

Thanks for the free plug in the blog article last week.

I was a bit bemused, however, by your claim that the Bristol Blogger “is anonymous and therefore unaccountable…”.

How does that work then? The last time I looked bloggers are subject to exactly the same laws – slander, contempt, copyright etc. – as any other publication such as yourselves.

And let’s be honest, even the dim and overpaid Oxbridge tossers at Carter Fuck and Partners or any other set of fancy city libel lawyers could find out who I am in the space of two phone calls if they needed to.

As for public accountability; while it ain’t perfect, I’m directly accountable to the public through the operation of an open and unmoderated comments system on my blog, which – as far as I can tell – is vastly more accessible and directly accountable to the public than anything offered by yourselves.

However much you ostentatiously publish your bylines and talk about accountability, the truth is that you – like any corporate-owned media – aren’t accountable to the public in the slightest. You’re actually accountable to a group of wealthy and anonymous Northcliffe shareholders aren’t you?

Oh, and when are you going to put your magazine on the internet?


The Bristol Blogger

So guess what happened? The self-styled experts on media ethics didn’t print it! So much for their accountability and my right of reply then.

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6 Responses to Account and accountability: The Blogger vs Venue

  1. Rob Ray says:

    Hiya, you mind if I lift this for a ‘Blog Bites’ piece in Freedom newspaper?

  2. thebristolblogger says:

    Go ahead.

  3. Anarchist606 says:

    This underlines why Venue (and the whole Post empire) is slipping – we are moving the an age now where we no longer need to doff our caps the the mighty, we can write in our own media what we think. The contempt of old-media to think they can coral comment about what they write into a few letters they choose – wrong. We can D-I-Y it. My feeling for what you wrote about the article in the letter (I have not read the original) is that the ‘pro’ journalists are getting freaked out by how good bloggers like yourself are getting, and how poor it often makes thier grabbing of headlines from other websites and blogs looks. I say good on you and keep up the amazing work.

  4. inks says:

    I don’t care who the Bristol Blogger is in “real life”. They are accountable to their blog. If they’re boring I’ll stop reading. If they post crap they’ll get known for it and I’ll stop reading.

    As it is it’s an entertaining read that tells me stuff about Bristol I don’t get anywhere else. Some of the debates that get kicked off in comments, both from named and anonymous posters, are worth reading.

    Anyway some of the mystery would be lost if I knew who was writing it!

  5. The Brambler says:

    Don’t think Venue will move onto the internet with a proper site now that Bristol Press and Media have launched their new listings website, Crackerjack.

    It’s a spectacularly crap name that puts me in mind of the Krankies and shit 70s TV, not a good night out in Bristol.

  6. Eugene Byrne says:

    There is no reason why that letter would not have been published in Venue, assuming it had arrived within a week or two of the original article.

    I just checked yesterday; it never arrived at Venue in the first place. Nobody there has seen it. It might have been caught in the spam-trap, or got sent to the wrong place, or something.

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