Opening up Parliament to bloggers is good for politics, but limiting passes to only those with past 'journalism' experience is a retrograde step. As bloggers bring relative editorial independence, there is a real scope for breathing fresh air into the system. Security is not a problem. Once checked by police vetting procedures, a blogger is then as trustworthy as anyone.
Being fair in deciding which bloggers are admitted is the hard bit. It will be sad if bloggers find their passes are revoked on reporting issues that conventional journalists might want to stay away from.
- Bloggers can lead way to democratic transparency
This could be the start of something great - a change for the better in transparency and democracy. The work of people such as Julia Hobsbawm has been helpful. Bloggers should get access to the lobby system. Any security issues only concern access to the Speaker's Chamber.
- Many top bloggers exist outside journalism
This is a good move. However, since when should bloggers 'be a proper journalist with a track record in journalism'?
Media fragmentation dilutes Brown story The Labour Party appears to have successfully deflected the original criticism of 'bullying at Number 10' by denying another allegation - that Gordon Brown is a bully - altogether. This is a classic tactic of muddying the waters sufficiently so the story fragments into a thousand pieces. The media are then undecided which strand of the story to pursue.