by Flint Driscoll on July 18th, 2011

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how new internet-based technologies are about to put paid to a golden age of reporting and commentary. The tech gurus would have us believe that old-school, experienced craftsmen will soon be dinosaurs, rendered irrelevant by the rise of interactive social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter.

Not so fast, my online Friends (and Followers). Your pokes and your hashtags may rule the roost at present, but social networks and citizen journalism are no replacement for old-fashioned, high-quality content generated in-house by dedicated full-timers. Which is why I firmly believe that, whatever the New York Times et al may tell you, blogging still reigns supreme.

Unsinkable, like Das Boot

You know me by now, dear readers: I don’t like to boast. But I was there at the start of the new millennium, in the heady dawn of the web-log revolution, one of a new breed of wide-eyed dreamers who dared to hope that we could take on and defeat the monolithic might of the discredited, liberal, dead-tree print media. We fought, and we won. All over the world, newspapers are closing down, one by one, as right-thinking people realize that anyone with a smart phone and a lick of common sense is better than the slouching, boozed-up “news-gatherers” who hold themselves out as the “gatekeepers” and “watchdogs” of “fact”. I mean, puh-leeze!

Now it seems that Rupert Murdoch, a man whom I have long admired, is finally coming around to my way of thinking. Taking the initiative, he has just proactively closed down the News of the World, a 168 year-old British-based tabloid: no doubt he will build on this promising start and purge his portfolio of further newspapers, probably in order of seniority. Next to go, the Times of London! One hopes its bastard New York offspring won’t be far behind!

Rupert Murdoch: Visionary, leader, entertainer and friend

The fact is that to a clear-eyed visionary like Mr Murdoch, this “phone-hacking” fuss is not a crisis, but an opportunity. While the Manchester Guardian was stirring everyone up with its hysterical blather about victims of crime and terror and their so-called right to privacy (maybe if we all had a bit less privacy, there wouldn’t be any crime or terror: ever think of that, victims?)  Mr Murdoch was craftily offloading his Myspace social network onto a pelvis-thrusting filth-merchant named Justin Timberlake. Good on yer, Rupe, mate! You know a dead dingo when you see one, and how to flog it!

Mr Murdoch is clearly convinced, like myself, that social networks and newspapers will soon be equally obsolete, thrust to the margins of public discourse by a rejuvenated phalanx of taut, penetrating blogs such as the one you see before you.

Now, I’ve had my problems with News Corp – as you will recall, I was recently “done over” (as I believe they say in Wapping) by one of its scurrilous London tabloids. Nevertheless, I feel in my heart that the architect of Fox News is a man of principle and of honor, and for this he will surely be rewarded, in this world and the next. The only way for you to go now is up, Mr Murdoch, and I’d love to come along for the ride! I hear you’ve lost a few good people lately, but if you ever need a new friend or, say, a consultant, you know where to find me (hint:!). Because you know darn well that I, Flint Driscoll, will always have your back!