Charles Moore in the Spectator this week gets it:
Although politicians have much to worry about from these sites, I suspect that Lobby journalists have even more. As Guido himself points out, the parliamentary Lobby has, by its nature, a tendency to conspire with politicians to produce a ‘line’. It controls the flow of information and is bound to collude with the suppliers of that information, the politicians themselves. For years, attempts have been made to break up the Lobby but these have never worked because there has been no workable alternative conduit. Now there is, or soon will be. The Lobby takes its name from the physical place where the journalists stood to meet MPs. Today the web is usurping that gothic hall, creating an infinitely bigger and much less safe place.
So the old fogey former editor of the Torygraph is actually the first Big Media pundit to endorse the Guido critique rather than some starry-eyed techno-guru from Wired magazine. First the pundits mocked, then they condemned and soon they will struggle to compete.
The oft-made charge that bloggers are parasites on Big Media news reporting doesn’t really apply to the leading blogs. Mike Smithson’s PoliticialBetting.Com is an example of an outlet which produces original insight. ConservativeHome.Com interactively surveys its readers opinions intensely and covers the internal party developments like no other publication, surpassing the Speccie and Torygraph as the Tory party’s journal of record. Almost every day either Iain Dale, Recess Monkey or Guido will break political stories ahead of the papers. The leading blogs generate original content.
Iain Dale mocks old Donald Trelford’s grande dame whining about blogs elsewhere. Guido won’t even give the oxygen of publicity to the well known journalist on the financially struggling political weekly who complained this week about Guido’s adverts. Adverts of course mean that there is no charge to readers and that this blog is profitable. His publication, despite charging readers a hefty cover price, is a debt-ridden vanity-publishing plaything for his proprietor. All this whining from the old media is the sound of them thrashing about in pain.