It’s that day of the week again. The one where the lucky ones among you can go out and buy that pile of papers that, unlike a laptop, make very good reading while sitting atop the throne of thrones right after lunch. It is not as logistically viable to do the same with the laptop – whatsmore, online reading still remains a poor second when it comes to quality (barring the Times e-paper which is stupendous to say the least).
So this week I got woken up by the usual doting parent (thanks Dad but I still try to sleep till 11 on Sunday – must be my immature side) informing me via SMS that page 4 of the Indy is dedicated to what David Friggieri has so kindly described (at 12.05 a.m., probably after imbibing more than one Duvel) “The Mother of All Blogs”. As I crawled out of bed and obediently made my better half her usual warm pain chocolat and coffee (served in a bathtub size mug – a la Francaise) I slowly recalled that this was the Sunday where my original article sent to the Times had to be rewritten – since the first submission was “too political”.
Don’t worry. I too thought that this was censorship. But then again I remembered that when agreeing to write for the Sunday I had also agreed to write about “thought provoking alternatives” and veer away from the day-to-day politics. So my fault for not putting my foot down then. The original article entitled “Waste Not, Want Not” has been passed on to the Times daily and should appear some time next week barring any surprises. In its stead there is an interesting article on the Sunday (interesting coz I wrote it meself) called “Win or lose, we go shopping“.
Back to the Indy. So we have a page 4 dedicated to the whole (Alas) Daphne’s Right business with selective quoting of my original post garnished by a number of the responses quoted en plein. I do believe that if the intention was to report the whole discussion, then for heaven’s sake go ahead and quote the FULL post and not parts of it. The Indy’s contribution to my post, apart from snipping the beginning, is adding a “Dr Zammit said” here and a “Dr Zammit added” there.
First of all I would appreciate, sincerely, and not with the humility of a politician, if we drop the Doktor business. I know I am a lawyer but I write this blog as a blogger and the Doktor business has nothing to do with it. Besides I am one of the minority who believes that Dr should be reserved for Ph.D’s – if anything give us something like the French have (Maitre – Master), which is more of a professional qualifier than an academic implication.
Secondly the snipping business might be an attempt to react to my earlier criticism of the cut-and-paste technique – so I might be partly to blame. On the other hand it’s just a question of style. The Indy could decide to have a blog page in which it reports or quotes directly full posts from bloggers – Robert Micallef style. Then a few guidelines would suffice.
1 . Always give the blog address (easy no?)
2. Either quote just a sentence or paragraph or opt for the whole post – no in betweens.
3. Get permission. Don’t worry most bloggers would be happy for the coverage. A quick email would be replied within minutes or by the evening.
4. Remember that persons commenting might not be too aware of their comments being laid bare to the public so quote them with discretion. (Admittedly J’accuse will have to work on that aspect with its readers – probably by including a warning).
5. Give the blog address.
And while in this article I am Dr Jacques René Zammit, in the next article entitled “Did a blog make PN Change Banner?”, I become anonymous “Blogger J’accuse”. Which is wrong incidentally. I am blogger Jacques René Zammit. J’accuse is the name of my blog and not some nom de plume like for example Fausto Majistral. As for the content – well it could be just as former blogger Erezija pointed out and J’accuse’s comment really hit the message home to the Gonzi website team. I don’t think they will ever tell us. On the other hand we did get an answer from AD Candidate Victor Galea on the post Charisma, Charisma, Charisma. Although Mr Galea claims otherwise, the original clip criticised by J’accuse had been mailed to members of a facebook group as AD’s TV spot. We are glad that after criticism from these quarters it will not be used as a TV ad for AD.
That’s a whole post wasted just to review what is being said about us. That’s too much navel gazing. IN the meantime you should know that my bathroom geyser has decided to go bust on a Sunday. The temperature outside is thankfully mild (around 10 or 11 degrees) and sunny. So I am off for a game of table tennis in the park followed by a game of petanque (bocci) organised by the Luxembourg International Bowls Association (Acronymn Censored). Afterwards I’ll either have to shave and perform most of my ablutions in the kitchen sink or pop over to a friend for a shower.
Somehow reminds me of the eighties… only then we had no cold water either… plus ca change.
P.S Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to comment on the articles on the Indy online just like we comment on J’accuse? Why do I have to wait seven days to have a reply to Daphne’s article posted on the Indy?