That distant clatter of shutters? That’s me.

It’s been three years since I started this blog.  The first (on topic)  post was back in 2006 and it was a short post blogging Katie Couric’s move to NBC which prompted Newsweek to ponder if “the real action in TV news may be happening on the Web”

To say a lot has happened since then is, well an understatement to end all understatements and looking back over the posts it’s been great to see things develop and feel like, in some small and often bad tempered ways I have been able to be part of the debate.

Recently though life has got awful busy. I’m finding myself in front of a lot of journalists, training (which I don’t blog about as it’s chatham house rules when I work for others) and involved in a lot of exciting stuff including the recent infuze project. All of which is me trying to actively be a part of, rather than just talk about, where journalism is going and where (I think) it needs to be.

That’s put me on my back foot with my online presence. Getting in front of the blog to do anything other than echo what is already being said elsewhere is proving difficult and not being able to do so is proving very frustrating.

Equally frustrating, but a more recent issue,  is the quality of the debate. Not from my fellow bloggers in the jsphere where the debate is, if anything, so mature and rich in understanding and empathy that I’m at a loss to understand why people just aren’t doing this stuff. The problem is more with the lack of momentum it causes.

Whatever it is that’s causing it I think there are some bright, vibrant and essential voices out there and they are not only being ignored (unforgivable even in the current climate) but quite positively attacked by an old media rear-guard action that I thought we had lost around 2007.  A lot of the effort to make sense of where we are is being dismissed because “it has no answers”. I would say it’s a lack of understanding that got you here to start with so perhaps a bit of listening would do you no harm.

Maybe I’m  falling out of love with journalism at the moment. Perhaps when I read the morally outraged vitriol spouted about Jackie Smith’s husband and his porn films in a paper owned by and advertising films and content by the same ‘pornographers’ who made the films he watched I wonder just where quality journalism is. That quality journalism that the local media groups say they need to be given more freedom to protect by becoming even bigger versions of the monolithic media companies so poorly suited to the future media landscape. Maybe that’s what it is…

All of which hand wringing and gnashing of teeth leads me to the point of this post – is going in to hold for the foreseeable future. I have the preliminary results of the video workload survey to get out but apart from that, to all intents and purposes the blog will close.

But before you cheer, I’m not going away.

Despite my current lack of taste for the blogging fight I’m fully intent in participating in the more dynamic conversation happening on and offline. Now is a time for doing – doing is what I do best. I have some other things I want to do as well and these will no doubt surface as (and if) they happen but blogging is moving off the agenda for a while.

So to all of those who comment and have commented, thank-you. Really, deeply, thank you. I’m hoping to comment more in return.

To all of those who have come this way via twitter, especially my recent glut of followers, sorry. I know what it’s like to turn up late and find the place closed. But hey I may still have something interesting to say.

The blog will come back and I can’t promise that I won’t post from time to time.  But for now I’m officially putting the shutters on the blog.

17 Replies to “That distant clatter of shutters? That’s me.”

  1. Andy – just a quick note to say your blog will be missed.

    Over the last couple of years I have taken for granted what insightful and sometimes under-appreciated minds there are in the North West in this crazy industry of ours.

    I would put your blog right at the top of the list of those resources.

    As you say, there are more battles to come before the journalism of the future takes shape.

    But one thing that will never be wasted is good training.

  2. Andy,
    Sorry to hear the news – I’m a late arriver but I’ve found the blog very useful indeed for my own teaching and journalism. Even with closing up you raise an interesting debate about conflict, or potential conflict, between doing and blogging about doing – all of us are challenged by time available. And I don’t see quite such a divide between an “old media rearguard” and people looking forward – more people with different perspectives trying to make sense of the media world in a period of rapid and far-reaching change.
    Thanks for what’s been a useful and stimulating blog. Good luck.

  3. I’ve been fearing this for a while, my Google Reader is going less and less busy though i add one or two new blogs a week. I noticed a trend since the beginning of the year, where my “original bloggers” – the ones i follow from the start, and with whom i learned so much – are posting less. I feel the same way though, it is a time to do, not to argue. But the occasional thought is always welcome, especially from bright minds like yours.

    And i too sometimes think about closing down my own place and dedicate to other more profitable activities, but now and then one of my favorite bloggers comes up with a new idea, and i get inspired and go back to work on the ways media can evolve and be a part of the process. So, i hope this is just a break, we need all the good people we can to shine a light on the road ahead.

    It’s not like you’re going away or anything, but this was a good way to keep in touch. So don’t be a stranger and keep us posted, the way you can. Thank you for everything so far. And quoting another one of my favorite bloggers around “You still rock.”

    See you around.

  4. @alexandre. I have noticed the same thing in my reader, in the online news/multimedia/video sector. Why is that, it is a very marked shift

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  6. Please, reconsider.
    Your blog is a great resource for student journalists.
    I understand the burn factor. Maybe only take a blog-sabbatical instead?
    You deserve a rest.

    When you come back – we’ll be here.

  7. Andy:

    Oh, no.

    Actually, I really understand what’s behind your decision. I’ve been wrestling with the same distress about circular conversations, the regression of the discussion, the anger from the journalists who haven’t been paying attention and suddenly find they are threatened.

    Godspeed. Come back some time, though.


  8. Oh, Andy, I will miss you very much! But I understand everything you’ve said here, because the same things are happening with me. There was a brief time of the online journalism blogs, when we were all posting tons and reading one another and learning everything at a rapid pace. But now we’re busy with so many other things — and what’s more, commenting has fallen way off. So the urge to post is fading away.

    I will keep following you on Twitter and hope to meet you face-to-face one of these days.

  9. Damn! You were in my top three favorite bloggers to argue with. Who will be there to fight with now? Really though, I’m going to miss your blog a lot. One of my favorites.

    As you can tell from my late comment — I’m slowing down on my blogging too. I usually go more than a week without taking a peek at my feed reader nowadays.

    Blogging is very hard work.

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