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Ode to a blogger

Brits pressed for press freedom in the 18th century, and perhaps no one pressed harder against the forces that opposed him than the rake and wit John Wilkes. Today, there appears to be no opposition to freedom in the press in Britain, but with a few brilliant exceptions, such as Christopher Booker and Janet Daley, the press seems curiously languid about pressing for stories unless they concern celebrities.

Richard North at the blog EU Referendum has written in corrosive detail about an outrageous story: the miserable equipment supporting, correction failing to support, British troops fighting in the field. While the press sleeps, North posts, and sounds the alarum.

A democracy whose free press refuses to publish reports about life and death issues, is preoccupied with movie stars, and is incapable of recognizing propaganda reports and photoshopped images is in considerable danger. Fortunately a Brit’s invention of the World Wide Web and the startling forays of bloggers have created new opportunities for readers who like their reporters awake, and smelling the coffee.