As we all know there are different forms and types of writing. We can classify by structure for example, sonnets are different from prose. We could run along the lines of useful and the antonym, propaganda perhaps. So, The Daily Telegraph and Owen Jones. Or for those whose tastes run another way, the Beano and Owen Jones.
The question that comes before us today is where should we put Open Democracy> This piece in The Guardian we can take as being a good guide to their thoughts on the matter, given who is writing it:
Peter Geoghegan is investigations editor of openDemocracy and author of Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics, out in August. Mary Fitzgerald is editor-in-chief of openDemocracy
OK, so what are they saying about journalism?
Journalists are inheritors of this fine intellectual tradition. It’s our job to call out the self-serving spin of the powerful; to hold them to account.
No, that isn’t our job. Given that job implies economic function we need to recall that the purpose of journalism is to fill in the gaps between the adverts. The job of a journalist is to produce the journalism that does that. Sure, sometimes that will be to prick the egobubble of the powerful but at other times it will be to list all the entrants into the village flower show – all, by name, because every named person will buy a copy of the adverts surrounding the report on the village flower show.
Someone who is only to prick those bubbles is not doing journalism – they are doing propaganda against egobubbles.
It is easy to dismiss the lockdown sceptics as a rag-tag bunch bound together by instinctive contrarianism, libertarian ideology, vested interests and a fear of a shift towards big state Conservatism. But they have already succeeded in shifting public discourse – far-right activists have been organising anti-lockdown demonstrations in London.
Why, given half a column inch they’ll be resurrecting the corpse of St Maggie to reintroduce the poll tax!
At which point we have the measure of the folks there. The function of openDemocracy is propaganda which is why we should never believe anything they say. Ever.