The amazing Will Hutton

Similarly, millions of blogs and tweets have forced news consumers to fall back on trusted, established sources, aiding media concentration rather than diminishing it.


Newspaper circulations are going up or something?

19 thoughts on “The amazing Will Hutton”

  1. I’ve left a couple of comments overr at the Graun already on this one. The piece as a whole is Hutton delusionally complaining about people he doesn’t like getting any success at all in political organising (e.g. UKIP) while quietly ignoring the enormous power of the leftist Third Sector he approves of. You know, “Civil Society for us, but not for you” kind of thing.

  2. This whole Tweet thing has me completely mystified. Does anyone apart from the media, politicians & others terminally up their own arses make/follow them? Or am I that far behind the curve? What could one possibly gain from reading 120 something characters?
    How about a quick poll. Anyone posting here use Twitter?


    I get my news by following links to websites, often before the established media produces and news in South Africa, where I come from, and the USA where I used to live.

    Also it keeps me informed about my political party as it advances, slowly and steadily.

    I have just turned 74 and prefer to sit in my easy chair in the lounge and do all this on my S4 mobile rather than on my desktop or notebook in my den.

    Retirement is fun.

  4. Enemy territory indeed. But the Resistance is formed & acts of sabotage are planned. Never let a dago by unmarked

    That is rather what I presumed Twitter’s function was. As an electronic noticeboard to draw one’s attention to things. But as a method of imparting any more than very basic information?
    Which was the point of my question. Is that portion of Hutton’s presumption valid? Where is the supposed competition between Twitter & his trusted & established sources? It’s just as likely people’s attention is being drawn to them by Tweets.

  5. It sounds plausible to me that more people are reading the established organs of the press than e’er before: online rather than in paper. The Mail Online has over a hundred million unique viewers each month.

    On the other hand, people are becoming more promiscuous in their reading habits, so while they will check out the Guardian and the Telegraph they might also peruse nu-media outlets like Drudge, Vice, Guido Fawkes, Prison Planet, Zero Hedge, Hot Air, Gawker and so on. That’s why Rupert Murdoch is keen to get a piece of it..

  6. @Ben 6
    That’s my feeling. The vast majority of the public get their news via broadcast but there is, in contradiction to falling dead tree readership, an increase in online mainstream newspaper consumption. And indeed, a widening into nu-media. So Hutton’s notion folk are fleeing blogs & Twitter for the established press is just describing the antics of a totally irrelevant tiny minority.
    For a rarely read columnist in a failing newspaper, an entirely appropriate point of view, one supposes.

  7. It is also a useful medium for linking to pieces of news, or articles of note. A lot of the early blogs, like Atrios or Instapundit, were effectively posting tweets before Twitter existed.

  8. Oh boy, does Hutton not get it.

    Yes, Bloke in Spain, most people rely very much on the broadcast sector as their main source of news, which is a key reason why the likes of Dacre and Murdoch put so much time and effort into trying to destabilise the BBC. It’s not that the BBC is necessarily biased beyond it serving as the voice of the establishment of the day so much as it serves a distinct sociological function in the UK by anchoring the whole of the mainstream media around a midpoint in reporting from which it’s difficult to deviate too far without it becoming obvious that its ceased to deliver news and just become a propaganda organ.

    That why a Fox News style operation wouldn’t work in the UK, the comparison with the BBC would make its own biases too visible and obvious for it to attract much of an audience.

    As for Twitter, we’re back to Martin Stabe’s old essay about the blogosphere, and now Twittersphere, serving as a kind of Court of Appeal in editorial judgement. it’s most useful for its ability to move stories that the MSM overlook or choose not to run by word of mouth, which can then prompt the MSM to jump in and give it wider exposure.

    That’s pretty much what happened when I blogged Guido’s Twitter spat with Claire Perry. I don’t know how much traffic Guido did that day, but I did over 100k uniques and within a couple of hours of us both opening up on it, the story found its way onto most of the big tech press sites and into the MSM via the Groan & BBC.

    Factor in the fact that in some areas, what you get from blogs is infinitely preferably to the mostly risible coverage you get from the MSM – the best law and science blogs are infinitely preferable to the coverage of both areas that you get in newspapers – and I’d say that Teh Interwebs is in pretty rude health so far as trusted sources of news and information are concerned.

  9. ” it ( The BBC) serves a distinct sociological function in the UK by anchoring the whole of the mainstream media around a midpoint in reporting from which it’s difficult to deviate too far without it becoming obvious that its ceased to deliver news and just become a propaganda organ.”

    Don’t know what to say to that, UK Lib. Really don’t. Certainly encapsulates the gameplan…

  10. His ignorance is horrifying
    “There are more literate, educated people worldwide than ever before who refuse to be regimented and controlled as they once were.”
    The history of the world is written about those (often, but not invariably, literate and/or educated) who refused to be regimented and controlled. Even if you discount Noah (and all the other semi-mythical heroes), every major advance has come from someone insisting on doing things differently

  11. @ Tim Newman
    Yes, of course: so was Moses, but hardly “regimented”.
    I was trying to avoid quibbling about human and divine control, by saying “even if you discount Noah …”.

  12. I get why lots of people don’t get twitter. Be that because they’ve tried it and it’s not for them, or even because they just think it sounds daft. I think it’s brilliant.

    It’s proper democracy. ‘Unity’ explains it better than I can. It’s a means for stuff that people are interested in, measured by them actually being interested enough to discuss the issue and/or retweet things, to rise to the top. There’s never been anything else remotely as effective in doing that.

    The character limit is irrelevant. And a disadvantage where people try to distil complex issues down to pithy slogans… it’s a portal. It’s full of utter crap, but you have to opt-in to get all of that.

    These days, it seems that the overriding political flavour of twitter is ‘crap left’, but that’s a reflection of the demographic. As the Internet generation ages, the range of views will even out. Either that, or Yahoo/Murdoch/Microsoft will buy it, sanitise it, and everyone will leave and find something else.

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