Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The dangers of ConservativeHome

ConservativeHome has just proved how dangerous the site can be when unsubstantiated articles run on it attack individuals and imply actions they have no plans to do.

At the weekend they ran the piece Bercow defection is expected at time of maximum embarrassment based on nothing more than an anonymous briefing and with no attempt to get a statement from Bercow himself. Cue a massive round of attacks on Bercow, almost trying to drive him out of the party.

Then today a grovelling retraction was issued: John Bercow. Editor Tim Montgomerie states:

I now regret that post...

Although ConservativeHome has published more than 3,500 posts over the last two years the post on Saturday is the first to cause me real regret.
But too often ConservativeHome can't decide if it is a newsource for party members or a viewsource. The result is that all too often too many in the party feel a need to pander to it.

I look forward to the launch of Platform 10 which should generate some competition and encourage better standards.


SamuelCoates said...

I think our standards are pretty high, we don't get things any more wrong than newspapers do on the whole. It was a bad call on Bercow but at least Tim made it clear it was based on reliable parliamentary sources (not anon) not on tangible evidence, and apologised for it when it seemed to not be true.

There's no tension between news and views, this one was news which turned out to be wrong.

Chris Palmer said...

Unlike you Tim, I could not care less whether ConservativeHome is a news source or a view source.

I am glad that ConservativeHome reports on information about possible defections such as Bercow. It is not as though newspapers and the media never engage in this sort of thing (Melissa Kite springs to mind.) ConservativeHome does much good for activists who don't live in London and like to know what is going on first or second hand rather than after whatever the news is has been through numerous different people.


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