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Monday, 18 February 2008

They still won't get it

The Centre for Policy Studies have published 'Politics, Policy and the Internet' today, a short paper that usefully sets out the threats and opportunities the interweb offers to traditional politics. Succinct and unequivocal, it won't tell any denizen of the blogosphere anything they don't already know, but many MPs, much of the political caste and lots of main stream media journos still won't get it.

Blair and Campbell's 'grid' was, for its time, a quite brilliant strategy to control the political news agenda - but that was eleven years ago, an aeon in the internet's accelerated evolution. Now a serious think tank debates whether it was Guido or the Guardian that broke the Hain story. The CPS doesn't mention the Conway sacking, but I have little doubt that the monstering that Iain Dale received on his blog for an apparent show of support for him influenced Cameron's decision that Conway had to go.

The MSM still has a reach that the independent part of the web cannot match, but I am increasingly convinced that the web, and the blogosphere, is increasingly influential in setting the political agenda. That, for now, is effect enough. As MPs' dead-tree press releases sink into instant obscurity, newspaper buyers continue to fall and TV audiences to diminish there will still be those who don't get it.


Iain Dale said...

Just for the record, I did not "express support". I said I would say anything I had to say to Derek's face.

Raedwald said...

Ah, apologies if I suggested this, Iain - to me it was clear that you were standing by the man, not the sin, but I don't think many of your commentators saw the difference