Fran on the Accidential Empire of Political Blogging

September 29th, 2009 at 2:45 pm by David Farrar

Fran O’Sullivan addressed several dozen people at breakfast this morning on the topic of the Accidental Empire of Political Blogging. Rural Women NZ hosted the breakfast.

Fran was mainly positive about the impact political blogging has had in NZ, saying the diversity is useful, as is the competition for the media to some degree.

She did have some criticisms, such as accuracy and fact checking, and most of all political bloggers who blog anonymously. Her big call was for more political bloggers to post under their names so there is some accountability for what they say – as journalists have.

She was full of praise for and said it has obviously replaced as the most influential and useful blog on the left.

got a mention with praise for his willingness to savage members of his own party (she joked that his father must be glad he has a life membership that can’t be revoked) but said she thought the pre-election scuttlebutt on Damien O’Connor was a serious error of judgement.

Lots of questions and discussion ranging from has a blogger been sued yet, to membership. Fran nicely refers to the gallery as a cartel :-)

Was a very good breakfast and even better drinks afterwards, finally escaping around 10.30 am!

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20 Responses to “Fran on the Accidential Empire of Political Blogging”

  1. Johnboy (14,857 comments) says:

    “She did have some criticisms, such as accuracy and fact checking, and most of all political bloggers who blog anonymously. Her big call was for more political bloggers to post under their names so there is some accountability for what they say – as journalists have.”

    Is that where your silly idea of real names came from Fran and co? Why would any of us on either side of the spectrum want to let bloody facts get in the way of a good old beat up. If it is good enough for the MP’s (re: English being picked on by tweedledum and tweedledummer) not to use facts why should we?

    When did journalists ever have accountability? I’ve never seen a list of their political affilliations. They go about their business with snide innuendo in many cases. Witness the sad yearning in most of the tossers for the return of Helengrad!

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  2. Onehunga (8 comments) says:

    What did she say about Kiwiblog?

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  3. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    Re: Damien O’Connor: Yes it was an error of judgment that was a sting operation by several leftwing bloggers. Some well know leftwing bloggers even know who it was who perpetrated the sting operation and it was them that helped call it off though without naming those involved.

    For my part I never actually named Damien O’Connor but did allude to West cost connections. For that i was and still am sorry.

    The leftwing tried and failed to gain a scalp, next time I will be more careful.

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  4. Auberon (865 comments) says:

    That’s funny Johnboy, I was there this morning, and Fran actually mentioned how boring it was to have naive commentators (she specifically mentioned the Frogblog team) assuming everything she writes is at the behest of National MPs, via one-to-one briefings, complicit in some sort of, dare I say it, vast right wing conspiracy. The reality, she pointed out, was far more workaday journalism: she went places, listened to what people were saying (often in public) and talked to people. No conspiracies, just the sort of occasional scoops you get if you work hard and keep your ear to the ground.

    And here you are doing the same thing: David’s in kahutz with Fran, it must be a conspiracy … Yeah Right!

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  5. Johnboy (14,857 comments) says:

    You misconstrue Auberon. I was jesting re: facts and bullshit and poking mild fun at Davids delayed idea of using real names.

    I cheerfully admit Fran is not one that seems to yearn for the days of good old Labour but sadly in the ranks of the journalists she is greatly out numbered by those who do.

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  6. Cactus Kate (545 comments) says:

    “She was full of praise for Red Alert and said it has obviously replaced The Standard as the most influential and useful blog on the left”.

    That’s in the “bleedingly obvious” category. A blog written by the Opposition MP’s being the most influential and useful blog on the left. Well knock me over with a feather. As I’ve predicted Red Alert will soon topple Kiwiblog on the Tumeke rankings just for what it is – a 29 person authored website that allows you to have feedback with Opposition MP’s and within their own comments rules give them a good kicking. It’s a winner as far as both spectator and participatory sport goes.

    She has good points on fact checking and accuracy but I don’t know why Fran has this itch about anonymous political blogging. It’s not anonymous and everyone knows your party political allegiances as all political bloggers are very open about that.

    The largest accountability is legal accountability ie. defamation. Having a fancy name won’t save you from that as every political blogger currently is well known to the blogging community, it would take 2 seconds for the papers to be served.

    I would say it is just she’s pissed off with bloggers who pretend they are repeaters.

    As a lawyer I feel the same way when a journo pretends to know something about the law, or any topic they write about without any actual experience working in it. They could call themselves Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck when they wrote it, I would still have the same sense of irritation.

    [DPF: I agree I will not be surprised if Red Alert overtakes Kiwiblog. One person doing a blog as a basically unpaid hobby can not compete with a couple of dozen people whose job it is to blog.

    I disagree that defamation liability alone is sufficient accountability. The simple fact of the matter is that unless you have $50,000 or so to waste on a defamation suit, suing is not an option.]

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Her big call was for more political bloggers to post under their names so there is some accountability for what they say – as journalists have.”

    How about the herald editorial writer puts his name to his (usually) worthless rubbish?

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  8. Cactus Kate (545 comments) says:

    “I disagree that defamation liability alone is sufficient accountability. The simple fact of the matter is that unless you have $50,000 or so to waste on a defamation suit, suing is not an option”.

    Yes and no. The blogsphere is self-regulating. Rather like journos. They have their own ethics, Press Council etc.. but so do we. With similar punishments to banish offenders and exclude them from our community.

    The worst that happens to a journo if they get it wrong is that they get sacked or sued.

    You can’t sack a volunteer and bloggers can be sued just like a journo can.

    In many ways the journo is actually less personally accountable as they can hide behind their publisher, editor, chain of command when they publish their work. And the deep pocket theory always wins – you sue the publisher not the journo, even though they may be a named party.

    Bloggers can only hide behind a pseudo which as we know is no protection whatsoever.

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  9. jabba (280 comments) says:

    I started to enjoy Redalert for the 2-3 weeks i was allowed to comment. I even agreed with some things. My 1 week ban seems to have been extended?? and I still can’t remember what it was that I said. I know it wasn’t offensive as none of my comments were.
    I will try again later but I’m for a wine and pizza with Dr Paul and Phil Heatley in Puke.
    Redalert can only succed if they allow alternative views. I’m told they have to be careful what gets published as it is viewed by school kids .. I assume what Labour MPs say and do during question time is ok for kids to watch??

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  10. gander (87 comments) says:

    “Her big call was for more political bloggers to post under their names so there is some accountability for what they say – as journalists have.”

    So who has accountability for the poorly edited rubbish that’s written by Mr or Ms “NZPA”?

    [DPF: Oh every story is marked up with the name of the primary author, the sub-editor and anyone else who has worked on the story. Now the newspapers do not generally print this info (sometimes will name primary author) anyone who has a direct NZPA feed can see who the author was and they are held accountable for it.]

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  11. KiwiGreg (3,169 comments) says:

    Dude…drinking after breakfast and before 10:30am…..you’re making me jealous

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  12. Paulus (2,485 comments) says:

    I agree with Jabba – 2-3 weeks Red Alert – that’s enough thanks. Great full time ranters and ravers – keep it up for the next almost 9 years – because that is how long it will be before they get rid of the”duffers” and get some new faces and views. They should listen to Clare Curren – she is a media expert (so she portrays).

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  13. democracymum (660 comments) says:

    I also enjoyed Fran’s presentation this morning and meeting up with some fellow bloggers.

    I do believe the MSM in the last decade have suffered a serious erosion in the resources they need to produce
    the news, and at the same time, an increased commercial expectation to produce more news than ever before.

    This has resulted in a recycling of the news and a dilution of many of the old principles associated with traditional “journalism” including objectivity, a balanced perspective, fact checking etc

    If the MSM cannot evolve their business models, newspapers will soon go the way of the local video store. Why would anyone purchase a hard copy of the “news” when the same option is now available online and from multiple sources?

    The problem for the MSM, is that bloggers have now staked a claim to what Fran called “The Wild West”
    and the MSM are only just waking up to its potential.

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  14. Johnboy (14,857 comments) says:

    “You can’t sack a volunteer and bloggers can be sued just like a journo can.”

    I am a thicko and not up with trendy legal shit and the only words I have ever said in my whole life not in jest were “I do”.

    So in the case of Kiwiblog who gets sued for defamatory statements I may make. Me or David?

    If it is David I apologise (in advance David) for anything I may say in the future and will make my bank account details available to him for all costs involved. Presently I have 153 pesos invested in the Peoples Bank of Haiti and own two shares in the “Crafar Farms Ecological and Animal Welfare fund.

    If it is me I will never again mention what Trev may be doing in Taupo or what Flossie my sheep told me this morning.

    I wait with baited breath for a response.

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  15. Cactus Kate (545 comments) says:

    Both of you can be sued. In reality though it is David’s blog and as the wider “publisher” then he will be “most” liable as your act of defamation is just between you and David without a wider audience.

    Don’t bet on him not relinquishing your IP address immediately on serving of papers in bargaining however :)

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  16. Johnboy (14,857 comments) says:

    Thanks Kate. (Send in your bill quickly before the Crafar shares are worthless). David I will transfer another 200 pesos asap.

    Trev— You and Pete are the salt of the earth—–GO LABOUR

    “Flossie”—- Baaaaah—”Shut the F### up”

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  17. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Rural Women NZ hosted the breakfast..”

    gee..!..i wonder what happened to my invitation..?

    not to mention..my mention..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  18. Paw Prick (39 comments) says:

    What does philu have to do with rural women?

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  19. Inventory2 (10,085 comments) says:

    Not much, if the rural women have any sense!

    After all, women of the land are used to working ….

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  20. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    “Red Alert and said it has obviously replaced The Standard as the most influential and useful blog on the left.”

    The substandard is now a leftard masturbatory cesspit for eco-facist nutjobs and communist union hacks.

    Red Alert would be more interesting if the Labour MP’s were on average a bit brighter, but hey, you can’t have everything!

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