Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Preaching to the choir

I have been informed of an upcoming dinner/drinks do between two similarly-minded left-wing progressive magazines, to be held at leading EC1 dive par excellence Vic Naylor's. Well, to be accurate, it's a do between a magazine and a website. The reason they're doing it is because they've been swapping stories for the past half-year or so, and they'll be meeting for the first time en masse to really get to know each other. Not so much new there, but it got me thinking whether all this creative cross-pollenation actually serves any purpose beyond reaffirming the beliefs of the converted.

It's the same thing with lefty blogs, including the much-loved Harry's Place or new-kid-on-the-block Socialism in an Age of Waiting. It seems like everyone and their dog is starting up a political blog these days, but I wonder if there is much of a point to it apart from the fact that it's fun, can become a habit and lets you discover people who share similar interests.

Hmm, I think I may have answered my own question there, perhaps I should just end this now...

But seriously, in the grand scheme of things, when pondering the use of journalism and writing of any sort that's just out there in the public sphere, are we actually gaining any converts these days, no matter how much genuinely well thought-out information we publish? Is anyone from "the other side" actually bothering to read it? Seems to me - especially in the UK - that as we come of age, we're all extremely quick to jump into reading one newspaper or magazine that best suits our point of view instead of experimenting with other ideas that could change or enhance our ideology.

I guess my point is that I've come to the conclusion - pathetically late in life - that going into journalism in order to "change the world" is nothing more than a childish fantasy and that lofty goals of one day running the Guardian will in the end boil down to nothing more than preaching to the choir. Shit.


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