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Profession reporter

30/04/2009 - par Mark Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

I'm looking forward to a new film called State of Play, starring Russell Crowe as a scruffy journalist uncovering political corruption. I have a history of enjoying movies that romanticise journalism: His Girl Friday, All The President's Men, The Paper… even the recent Frost/Nixon. The journalist is always presented as an untarnished seeker of truth, acting on behalf of us, the people.

In State of Play, the veteran journalist played by Crowe runs up against a political blogger who is chasing the same story. This seems unrealistic to me, because most bloggers are only interested in one story: themselves.

A friend of mine recently told me that blogs were future of journalism. I hope not. Journalism is about objective reporting: you explain one side of the argument, and then the other. The reader is smart enough to decide who's right. And the journalist's personality is only visible through their writing. You like certain reporters because of the way they write, not for the way they dress or whose music they listen to.

Many bloggers are addicted to the cult of personality. They offer their opinion on the topic of the day, and if there isn't one, they tell us about their own lives. Just like this column, blogs are a form of entertainment. But in order to question government and big business, we still need old-fashioned journalism. Blogs are the future of blogging. But the future of journalism lies elsewhere. Just ask Russell.

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