It was with some astonishment that I read the following comment from the chair of the UK’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) professional training committee, Chris Wheal, on Adam Tinworth’s blog:
“The NUJ fails to maintain standards in blogs because bloggers themselves rejoice in having lower standards.”
Tinworth had written about his discovery in his blog’s referrer logs that an email exchange within the NUJ under the subject ‘effing blogs’ had led someone to his website.
Wheal points out some flaws in the original post, as he sees them – in particular an alleged witch hunt surrounding one of the recipients of the email.
Personally I don’t believe a witch hunt was Tinworth’s aim – he was, as Suw Charman points out in the post’s comments, writing about what he observes.
Aside from that it’s hard to engage/respond/take on board what Wheal is saying when the tone gets your back up in the way it does and makes sweeping statements like the above.
He goes on to say that the NUJ is currently looking at Yahoo Pipes and new Webvision CMS – great, talk to your members, many of whom are also bloggers, about it.
But do this in a way that respects the ‘social’ aspect of social media and learn that blogs like Adam Tinworth’s are intended as open conversations.
Wheal says he wants the NUJ training committee to engage with bloggers to raise standards – this is a lesson in how not to do it.