The News of the World, for example, has been a byword for filthy and intrusive stories about bishops, actresses and divorces for 150 yearsBut this is a mere lead-in to what's really bugging Ms McMillan:
...society as a whole should end its foolish flirtation with the idea that professional journalism is somehow dead, now that every citizen can generate his or her own news stories and images, and write them up in his or her own blog. No-one on the planet has a hope in hell of understanding what is going on, in this chaotic universe of digitised disinformation, unless someone, somewhere, continues to undertake the job of information-gathering, agenda-setting, contextualising, editing and analysis that has been the role of serious journalists down the ages, regardless of the medium through which their work is presented.Now, hold on. I'm not aware of any serious blogger who claims to "undertake the job of information-gathering" in the same way as can a newspaper or broadcasting company with hundreds or thousands of employees. It's when we get on to "agenda-setting, contextualising, editing and analysis" that the problem arises. And the problem I'm alluding to is that mainstream journalists all too often bitterly resent any suggestion that they are anything other than "objective".
Now, I can accept that a journalist covering, say, the physical sciences, may be objective, but when we are dealing with questions of politics and economics it's clear that there is no consensus. The mainstream media (especially the taxpayer-funded BBC) is full of journalists who portray themselves as "objective" when they are nothing of the sort. All successful political bloggers of the sort maligned by Ms McMillan openly declare their ideological starting-point and are increasingly becoming the "serious journalists" of our time. The relentless and instant feedback of the web together with expert knowledge is making many bloggers far more reliable than so-called professional journalists.