Andrew Marr on bloggers and blogging:
The BBC’s website has nearly 100 blogs and invites its readers to “have your say” on an enormous range of topics, from Westminster to the weather.
But one of the corporation’s most familiar faces, Andrew Marr, has dismissed bloggers as “inadequate, pimpled and single”, and citizen journalism as the “spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night”.
Marr, the BBC’s former political editor who now presents BBC1’s flagship Sunday morning show, said: “Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all.
“A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people,” he told the Cheltenham Literary Festival. “OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk”.
“But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night.
“It is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism.”
He added: “Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. Terrible things are said online because they are anonymous. People say things online that they wouldn’t dream of saying in person.”
Marr’s successor as political editor, Nick Robinson, has previously criticised the tone and quality of online debate, saying he had stopped reading most of the comments on his own BBC blog.
“It’s a waste of my time,” he said in March this year, adding that the blog’s comments section was frequented by people who had “already made their minds up, to abuse me, to abuse each other, or abuse a politician”.