You are here

Club Bloggery Pt. 4: Bloggers Watch as Journalists Turn on Each Other over Worm

The fourth instalment of our Club Bloggery series for ABC Online has now been published. Given all the controversy, we couldn't go past adding our own thoughts about the 'worm' incident which has taken up so much of the media limelight following the leaders' debate last week. Our piece has already been published on the ABC site, where it has also generated a good deal of sometimes heated debate; on the Gatewatching group blog with Jason Wilson and Barry Saunders, I've now also posted a slightly longer and more polemic version of the article.

Bloggers Watch as Journalists Turn on Each Other over Worm

By Axel Bruns, Jason Wilson, and Barry Saunders

In spite of the growing evidence of the role of bloggers like Possums Pollytics and citizen journalism projects like our own Youdecide2007 as alternative commentators and opinion leaders in the federal election campaign, mainstream media from print to television remain crucial, of course. Indeed, the two are anything but mutually exclusive, and so - along with 2.4 million other viewers across the three channels broadcasting it - bloggers tuned in on Sunday to watch the 'great debate' between John Howard and Kevin Rudd.

Though not necessarily adopting the yoga pose of one of the ABC's debate watchers, Australian bloggers looked to a number of their own strengths in order to survive suffering through what at times appeared a rather stilted, formulaic contest between the two candidates for the top job; many leading Australian blogs provided live blog coverage of the event, offering a blow-by-blow, distributed running commentary as the debate was aired.

Unpacked in this process were not only the policies and political positions of the two leaders (few of whom, frankly, went significantly beyond what they'd announced already during the campaign so far), but also many of the more technical aspects of the debate itself, from Howard's body language to Rudd's tendency to fall back on well-worn 'on-message' phrases. A fair few contributors noted Rudd's initial nervousness and occasional waffling, while many bloggers also commented on Howard's apparent discomfort with his dentures and occasional nervous twitching.

But as it's turned out, such live blogging coverage was really little more than the entrée to a main course of debate and discussion about 'the worm', Nine's surprisingly controversial squiggly line. Bloggers have become keen followers of the emerging fight over the worm, and have quickly added to the process of examining the network of accusations and counter-accusations on who may have been behind the attempt to pull the Nine Network's live feed of the debate in mid-broadcast.


Technorati : , , , , , , , , : , , , , , , , ,