Outgoing PM Tony Blair today delivered an interesting critique on how media covers politics.
Mr. Blair characterized the media as a «feral beast». A superficious online search suggests that the primary meaning of «feral» is an animal (or person/people) that was domesticated, but has returned to the wild.
If Mr. Blair were to suggest he longs for a past where newspapers were tame, he could easily be portrayed as a whining politician whith no stomach for aggressive media scrutiny. Actually, precious little in his speech suggests this.
I read it as a well argued critique of the news media’s appetite for sacrificing nuance in favour of simplification. His misgivings about how we confuse the venues of reporting and comment is, albait not new, also worth while.
But I fear this point will also be the only that creates serious discussion. There is more meat in his suggestion that although new (internet) media so far has disappointed in its ability (or willingness) to produce an opportunity «to by-pass the increasingly shrill tenor of the traditional media» (Blair), he believes there is a market for serious, balanced news.
There is much to indicate he is right. A transparent platform for both fact and comment will likely evolve through the interaction between trained writers, investigative reporters, experts, readers, bloggers and the subjects the media and it’s audience want covered.