Thursday, March 30, 2006

Global Voices not being heard properly


Jordon and Maria continue their very good Polish blog review on Global Voices Online. But the comments mentioning this blog are not correct.

They write about my post, ‘Anti-social’ Poles and ‘racist’ Northern Irish. After commenting on criticisms of Polish domestic politics they say that Poland is, quite literally, getting a kicking abroad, as well. Jordon and Maria write:

‘Not only having trouble at home, according to the beatroot, Poles are taking a beating abroad as well. Incidents of scuffles [in Belfast] between Poles and local residents are not isolated, particularly in Ireland. The beatroot makes a religious connection, arguing that beatings are less common in Catholic areas. To be fair, Ireland is one of the few countries that have opened their borders to work-hungry Poles.‘

They say: “Incidents of scuffles between Poles and local residents are not isolated, particularly in Ireland.” But there have been no incidents, to my knowledge, of Poles taking beatings in Ireland. In fact I never mentioned Ireland in that post once. I was talking about Northern Ireland, which is, of course, part of the United Kingdom.

And the ‘scuffles’ you talk about have put Poles in hospitals – surly a bit more than a ‘scuffle.’

Then we have, ‘...the beatroot makes a religious connection.' No I didn’t. But Poles have done, as they seem to think these are anti-catholic beatings. I don't think they are.

I said that the attacks have been in Loyalist areas – Loyalists, in this context, are mostly Protestants, but a loyalist is a political category, not a religious one. The conflict in N. Ireland over the past 30 or 40 years has not been over some theological point, but over the six counties being British (loyalist) or Irish (Irish republican).

The attacks on Poles have been almost exclusively in poor, Loyalist areas in Northern Ireland – that is a fact. Groups from to loyalist paramilitary outfits may have been involved in one of the incidents, and some of these groups are very nasty skinkhead types with connections to British groups like Combat 18 (follow the links and you will see that these are linked to Polish neo-nazis as well). These days, these groups are just organized criminals or just a bunch of thugs out for a 'laugh'.

But I made the point that the attacks are probably nothing to do with Poles being Catholics and are not sectarian in character at all, but are the result of a general law and order breakdown in areas which used to have communities that policed themselves. Since the Good Friday Agreement that ability seems to have gone, communities have become depolitisized and the police do not seem to be able to reduce the soaring crime rate in general in those areas.

21 comments:

Veronica Khokhlova said...

i've linked to your response in a comment - thank you!

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/03/27/polish-blogosphere-update-3/

beatroot said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Alright everyone, repeat after me...

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!

Please follow this link:
http://direland.typepad.com/

beatroot said...

Indeed and I am posting about that tonight. I am sitting here right now nwith a journlaist who has been to the building...more later.

Pan Emigrant said...

I am a Pole living in the UK for the past year and a half and have not received a beating. However the stray cat that has moved in to my house has scratched me on a number of occasions. I plan to take it to the vet's at the first opportunity. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned there.

Renegade Eye said...

Global Voices generally is a great resource. I do the pick a country game. I'll go there and decide something as today I'll check blogs from Morocco.

beatroot said...

So do I. GVO is good.

And Jordon and Maria (from the inactive Polblog) do a review of blogs on Poland there every once in a while, which is very good too. They just don't understand the tricky world of Irish politics...

Pan Emigrant said...

"Alright everyone, repeat after me... THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!" etc.
So what's all that about? For one thing, this person has a lof of faith in the power of a handful of cut-and-pasted words.
Is it intended as a criticism of blogging? Keen as I am to hear intelligent voices dissuade me from further exposure to this fad for ramshackle DIY news and comment I followed the link, only to find another blog... seemingly. It crashed almost instantly. Dire...

beatroot said...

No its gay activists about the Le madame story...I think they think that the whole world is interested in this story. but maybe people in Iraq, for one, have slightly more pressing problems.

Romerican said...

Pan Emigrant, you've not received a beating? Please report immediately to 46 Hill Street to receive your equal opportunity endowment.

Anonymous said...

Re: Le Madame

It's sad that in a city Warsaw's size, many people consider there to be only one place to go: Le Madame

I've been there once. I really don't know what to think about the place.

DBN

beatroot said...

It's weird and wacky, DBN. It's nwhat happens when thatkind of community is oppressed. It turns into something intense and cliquey. Like Berlin in the 1930's. Decedent, I think you could call it.

Romerican - not beatings yet. But somebody haad to say it....

~JS said...

Peter "beatroot" Gentle:

It's refreshing to know that someone actually reviews our Polish Blogopshere Roundup on Global Voices.

But more importantly your "gentle" intervention, calling us to greater accountability when it comes to accuracy raises a key issue in blogging today (even though, embarrassingly, at the expense of our credibility)...

The issue raised here reflects a growing tension, akin to a new media turf war perhaps, between journalists and bloggers.

AT Global Voices 2005 in London last December, bloggers from Cambodia to Bolivia converged to take stock of an incredibly impressive second year for Global Voices and to look ahead to a more globally self-conscious blogging zeitgeist. Interestingly, our conference was hosted by Reuters and held in its world headquarters (London). In the most metaphorically rich way, the bloggers of Global Voices fit comfortably into a single conference room at the lion's den of old-school reporting. Here we saw in concerete form both the hubris of bloggers and the power of journalism. Even some of the most searching discussions circled around the role of blogging amid main stream journalism (or MSM).

I am a blogger, but I am not a journalist by profession or education. Peter is a journalist and I wonder if he sees the issue I am raising as a result of his 'intervention.'

It's an important issue. Let's call it the impending shake-out of blogging by journalists who hold to a core set of journalistic principles. The credibility of blogging in the eyes of professional journalists is not an issue bloggers (who are doing so-called blog journalism) should disregard. I would also comment that it's equally as foolhardy to discount blogging's potential role and contribution to reporting, simply for lack of credentials.

Where are the discussions about this issue? Does MSM avoid the issue? Are bloggers tarnishing journalism by association?

beatroot said...

JS, for people who don't know, is Jordon from Polblog, who did the Polish blog review.

JS: First of all, I really hope that you take my 'GVO review of the Polish blog review', in the spirit in which it was written...and I really appreciate your 'review of my review of your review of Polish blogs'.

Just to repeat, I really like your reviews of Polish blogs. But if I see something that is not quite right about something then, of coutse, I want to correct that. As would you, JS.

I am a bit dim, so I am not sure I see exactly what you are getting at in the more broad comments you make. But you are right about a 'tension' between 'MSM' and the 'citizen journlaist'.

And I don't really understand the problem.

I want to do a post about this soon so I won't go into all this now. But basically blogging coudn't exist without MSM - it's where we get all our stuff from.

But more and more now, MSM is leeching off blogging. Newspapers have 'blogs', and many journlaists use blogs (like the beatroot, would you believe) for research.

So...all I can say, really, is Viva le Difference!!!

fraternally yours...

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beatroot said...

Ok, accuracy...(I told you I was a bit dim).

In my opinion, there is no onus on bloggers to be factually correct about anything at all. Ever. Journalists have a duty to try and get it right and they have the resources to do so.

Blogs are full of comments based on material they get from MSM.

And that's fine by me.

If journalists BELIEVE stuff in blogs without fact checking, then more fool them.

But journlaists do get inspired by blogs. I have lots of examples of that.

The future of good blogs is in two directions:

1) Good comment blogs
2) Blogs that create original material - through podcasting, on the spot videocasting etc...

beatroot said...

Me again, but JS got me thinking.

JS said: 'Peter "beatroot" Gentle...'

To be honest, I really don't like mixing up PG with the beatroot.

PG tries at work to be objective, distamced and fair, because if I didn't I wouold get the sack.

But beatroot is someone else. He's opinioniated, contrarian, likes an argument.

and I stick stuff up on the blog very quickly and I do not take the care I would about a story at work.

that's why I get things wrong sometimes..

So beatroot is a BLOG, PG does something else.

So there is your 'tension', JS, all in one person.

gumish said...

JS - just please read everything thouroughly and with understanding and if you really need to refashion it for a review perhaps, please give it the original meaning. And there would be no tension I suppose :)

beatroot said...

That's what I meant to say...

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