Monday, May 24, 2010

The first draft history

Some clever spark once said that journalism is the first draft of history. If you've been following the British general election saga, this week's "The Report" from BBC Radio 4 is fascinating listening and will be a source for future historians on how the coalition negotiations took place. Right down to Lord Mandelson texting his mate on the other side of the table to avoid his own team knowing what he was saying.

"Don't worry lads, I have a cunning plan..."


Zzzzzz said...

Written by the winner, in the pre-internet age.

Now with the sheer volume of material out there on every subject, interpretation will shift from 'filling in the blanks' to 'sifting out the dross'.

I can see no let up in, for example, publication (of real books)of modern military histories. So the consumer at least is content for someone else to go through the motions on their behalf. First hand accounts are the new format of choice, perhaps.

Who decides what is worth publishing ? There are thousands (millions ?) of blogs out there. I have a dozen or so on my reading list. I'm extremely relucant to add any more, so I buy real books for an in depth look at something.

So I am reliant on journalism to keep me informed. Let's hope that they retain their integrity in the face of all the pressures to 'spin' on way or another.

KGS said...

British political version of the "three Card Monty"