If blogs were not important, The Daily Telegraph would not be firing 51 members of staff on its daily and another 18 on the Sunday paper, while intensifying its electronic coverage. Neither would the new Secretary of State for the Environment be wasting public money on his and the fragrant EU commissioner for communications would not be expending so much of her energy on hers.
However, it has to be said that The Telegraph is merely adding to the diet of trivia which infests the print copy, with a blog specifically dedicated to political gossip. By so doing, it is following The Times into the fray, a publication that is continuing its long decline from being the "paper of record" to just another piece of MSM tat.
In producing these testaments to the decline of serious journalism, the proprietors of the respective newspapers hope, one presumes, to capitalise on the growing online advertising revenue which the current brand leaders have already sought to exploit.
But, while hopes are pinned on the trivia bringing in the bucks, commentators like Mike Ion on the Guardian's Comment is free site are talking up the political influence of blogs, Ion himself offering his own "take" on why they are so important. He writes:
They take the media out of the hands of the corporate world and put it into the hands of anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Their audiences tend to be political junkies who have almost non-stop access to a computer and large amounts of time to surf the internet for breaking news. This is what makes political bloggers so powerful - their ability to influence the influencers.Despite this, Ion seems to confuse popularity with influence, citing two blogs which are almost devoid of serious content, on which both The Times and The Daily Telegraph seem to be modelling themselves in their race for the bottom.
However, we take the view that the blogsphere is too valuable a resource to be devoted entirely to the lightweight and trivial and will continue to build on our base as serious bloggers with something more to offer our readers than titillation. But, we decided, such a noble enterprise needs an identity – a logo. And if the Conservative Party can have one, so can we.
Fortunately, for a mere £40,000,000,000.23 (plus VAT) A non EU mouse has come to our aid and we are now able proudly to display our new logo on the sidebar. "Blog with attitude" R Us.