This evening I have the pleasure of speaking about the ongoing battle between the Commentariat and the Bloggertariat at an Editorial Intelligence event. My fellow panellists are David Aaronovitch of The Times, blogger Iain Dale, Mick Fealty (Slugger O'Toole and Brassneck) and Anne Spackman of The Times).
Where do I fit in? I guess somewhere inbetween the two. What are my concerns? That the emrgence of the bloggertariat is merely an outgrowth of the commentariat, but even more self-regarding than its precursor.
The event takes place on the same day as the launch of Stephen Grey's Investigations Fund, a brilliant project to renew the investigative tradition and encourage the next generation of dirt-digging hacks.
Here's the meat of the mission statement which has been signed by Heather Brooke, Peter Barron, Nick Davies, Nick Fielding, Misha Glenny, Mark Hollingsworth, Andrew Jennings, Phillip Knightley, Paul Lashmar, David Leigh and yours truly:
"The fund does not intend to compete directly with established media, but will instead provide the seeds from which the big story can grow. It will help provide the initial cash & support required to back journalists who want to dig into risky and difficult areas: exactly the sort of things for which it is hard to get funding.
We want to aim locally and globally – to support the sort of investigation of grassroot stories and services that is dying by the minute as local newspapers are hit hard; and to support those many stories of vital public interest in Britain that have an important international connection, particularly in the developing world, but where the costs of chasing down the truth may seem prohibitively high."