Spring, natural wine and the power of blogs
A few late night thoughts.
Just had the contract through for my next book, which will be on the subject of natural wine. It's a collaborative project between me and consultant winemaker Sam Harrop, who will help ground the theory in a more practical basis. It's a brave (or crazy?) project. So I'm devoting a lot of my thinking time to this subject at the moment.
Interesting to see new media making an impact, with political blogs are in the news at the moment (see this news item). The message is, of course, more important than the medium. But new media are allowing important messages to get through to people in ways that weren't possible before.
Governments can exercise a degree of control over TV and newspaper journalists. For example, they can reward 'on message' journalists with enhanced access, and withdrawing priveleges from those who rock the boat. A lobby journalist can be given an inside line on a regular basis, which guarantees them good material, if they behave tamely. People outside the club - political bloggers - have their flaws, but they can be more independent and act like good journalists: saying things that people don't want them to say.
Perhaps this is a naive reading of the situation, though. A legitimate concern with blogs is that they just spread misinformation and unfounded gossip. There's less comeback with bloggers, who aren't accountable and who sometimes don't have much grasp of journalistic principles and ethics.
We've had a couple of days of rain after some beautiful spring weather. Still, it's a lovely time of year. Had a really nice walk on Hounslow Heath today with RTL (pictured, some rather wet blossom). It has been a great Easter break so far. Now, back to watching the third round of the Masters.