In an ironic twist, the Border Mail’s Saturday opinion writer who happily took a swipe at Border bloggers for being sensitive to criticism and lacking in ethics, has today scored a front page article with the inspiring story of a local blogger who is documenting his battle with cancer as he approaches his final days.
The blogger, as all three regular readers of this blog will know, is Greg Naylor who writes the King Valley Watchdog. Congratulations to Greg for having his story spread more widely. His honest, reflective posts about his feelings in this difficult time have been compelling reading.
I met Greg a few years ago when he offered me some old Macs, which I had requested on Freecycle. Greg wasn’t content just to share stuff that he had in his shed, he also insisted that we have a cuppa, and he was generously ambivalent to the usual manic behaviour of Buster Boy and the Troll Princess as they tore around in his home. I have no doubt that he’s an excellent grandfather, having seen the patience that he had with the children of a stranger, and it’s sad that his grandkids will be losing him so soon.
It was some time later that I discovered his blog and I’ve always been interested to see Greg’s ideas poured out with honesty and careful thought, the antithesis of my blog really. Greg’s decision to share his journey has given me, and I’m sure many other readers, an opportunity to reflect on some pretty big issues.
I’m not sure what all of Greg’s goals in life were, but from reading his blog I know that he is finishing without regret, however I do know that he has positively touched many people’s lives and I believe that for that he should be commended.
The Border Mail’s brilliantly uninformed Brad Worrall has used some valuable column inches to once again sledge the bloggers from this area, this week labelling us ‘cyber bullies’.
To be fair to Brad, he hasn’t specifically labelled King Valley Watchdog, Alpine Opinion, Albury Wodonga Online or I, because once again he hasn’t had the guts to actually name any of ‘sensitive, very angry’ bloggers who ‘have unleashed a blog and email tirade’. Perhaps this type of ‘journalism’, where you make unsubstantiated claims about a group of people without specifically identifying any of them, is the type of thing that Brad learnt in ‘Journalism 101’.
I’m beginning to suspect that the bloggers Bradley is referring to are figments of his imagination. Brad Worrall needs to put up or shut up, name the blogs and bloggers that supposedly offend his journalistic sensibilities and give examples of the articles, or he should aplogise for making unqualified attacks on people expressing their opinions in an ethical and open manner.
Brad also needs to work a bit harder at developing opinions if the best he can come up with to fill his page is a fight with some imaginary people. Perhaps instead of a concocted war with the blogosphere, Brad could do a piece complaining about email spam to show how technologically astute he is.
A further thought came to me this morning regarding the Border Mail’s Brad Worrall and his distaste for blogging. The Border Mail is now owned by Fairfax who have tried, while mostly failing, to harness some of the cachet of the blogosphere in their own online offerings, so I thought I’d do a search of the Border Mail’s website to see if they too were part of the Fairfax blogging revolution.
I was astonished to find that the Border Mail does indeed host a blog section on their website, so I commend to you the Border Mail’s “Your Say” Blog.
Another example of the quality we have come to expect from the Border Mail.
It seems that Border Mail hack Brad Worrall has decided to have a sledge at all of the bloggers in this area, without having the guts to actually name any of the blogs which he’s degrading. Ray Dixon’s Alpine Opinion and Jack Stone’s Albury Wodonga Online both have a copy of the article and quite effective rebuttals, so I’ll leave that to them.
What I will say is that, for the past twelve months or so, a selection of News Ltd journos, most prominantly Dennis Shanahan, have been trying to discredit bloggers who disagree with them. Thus far the hacks have continually come off second best as well informed bloggers like Possum Comitatus have punched holes in their wobbly stats and analysis that borders on wish fulfilment. I hope Brad realises that his little spray will be seen by many, myself included, as an invitation to hold him and the paper he works for to the high journalistic standards he has trumpeted; I wonder if the Border Mail is really ready for that?