The BBC's guru of all things Web related Bill Thompson has written a piece on the possible need to regulate search engines now that Google seems to be getting powerful to the point of infringing on our rights to privacy. However, sandwiched between some interesting thoughts on the subject, Thompson goes off on a tangent with the following:
“Blogging is not journalism. Often blogs are as far from journalism as it is possible to get, with unsubstantiated rumour, prejudice and gossip masquerading as informed opinion”
Bill seems to be suggesting that if you don't work for the BBC or a big publication then the opinion you express in your weblog isn't informed and therefore worthless. Conversely, if you are a ‘proper’ journalist, then everything you write can be relied upon to be truthful and correct.
While I enjoy much of Bill Thompson's writing on technology, this article typifies the arrogance of the mainstream journalist when it comes to the value of weblogs. In fact, it is for this reason that independent publishing is so worthwhile; weblogs tend to be free of the smugness that writing for a mainstream publication often gives.