More seriously, Marr, a very talented man, has climbed high up the ladder of journalism and television, and may well take a dim view of clever arrivistes who seem to have discovered a short cut from mere blogging to mainstream media success and its rewards. Examples are Will Straw, formerly in command of Left Foot Forward, and Ian Dale of the Diary, who both, substantially on the strength of their blog reputations, were taken up by Any Questions on the BBC and the like, and are now giving up blogging for greater things. There are other bloggers who post thoughtful pieces which are well worth reading (eg Hopi Sen). But their presence, and the consequent claims they make on the finite resource which is readers’ time, can be seen as posing a threat to the existence of traditional journalists. Journalism, like acting, is an occupation which many people fancy as an option, and, unlike say the law, has always had a low entry threshold. Take this passage from the Decline and Fall volume of Chris Mullin’s (a journalist turned MP) diaries (10 August 2005):
'That's you,' she said.
And so it is, minus the first class degree.It isn't too fanciful to wonder whether blogging is making the entrance level to a pretty marginal profession still lower, with the inevitable consequence of some real (ie non-citizen) journalism being displaced, contrary to Marr’s view.