28 May 2007

Is News Ltd attempting to nobble a blogger?

In the "Weekend Talkback" section of his News.com.au blog Blogocracy Tim Dunlop announced a "new feature" starting soon:

The idea is that a bunch of bloggers will each respond to a question on a current topic. We will then all link to each other's responses so that you can click through and read what each person has to say. The first question will be composed by me, but each blogger will get a shot at suggesting a question from week to week. The idea is to get a bit of discussion going on a given topic and also to try and provide a way for each of us to introduce our readers to blogs that they maybe haven't heard of before.

In the comments section I asked him a few questions, including

Who are these bloggers? How many of them are they? Will they be like the Insiders panel with you as the Barrie Cassidy (with perhaps a dash of Paul Kelly)?

Dunlop replied at considerable length, during which he admitted

Actually, credit for the idea belongs, not to me, but to one of the guys from News ltd who thought it would be a good way to get some discussion going. After that, I suggested about half-a-dozen bloggers who we wrote to to see if they'd be interested.

Can anyone imagine "one of the guys from News Ltd " suggesting to Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtsen, or even Matt Price, that they recruit half a dozen bloggers to help them "get a bit of discussion going" on their blogs?

Even if Dunlop has a free hand to select his Super Six it is likely that his characteristic succinct forthrightness will be diluted. I can't see why he just can't link to the others where he thinks they've got something worth saying.

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