Overnight Ipswich Spy has reacted to the complaints (here, here and here) levied at their editors for submitting a disgraceful article on Cllr John Carnall, which might be argued is libellous and defames his character and could lead to substantial damages awarded to the plaintiff under English Law if proven.
A retweet by me of an article by Politics Home’s Paul Waugh on a theoretical blogging complaints commission may have pricked the conscience of Ipswich Spy but more likely their fear for their financial future saw Ipswich Spy take the offending article down last night and replace it with a post on ‘Review of Standards’. They also submitted a new article which is a de facto apology (although not a direct apology to Cllr Carnall) for Tuesday’s article. The blog also says one or two of its spies/editors may have to ‘come out of the shadows’ to re-build their credibility. Ipswich Spy also say they may be posting less frequently in future, which I hope does not happen: despite their behaviour this week they are still a formidable political blog in Ipswich and I stand by their excellent coverage of the St Margeret’s ward by-election, which surpassed the
Morning Evening Star by a wide margin.
Unfortunately for Ipswich Spy, the internet remembers everything and the article attacking Cllr John Carnall is still available on a Google caching server here. We hope Ipswich Spy will offer a full apology to Cllr Carnall in due course.
On the issue of including online blogging in the same ball park as traditional print and broadcast media, I think this episode shows self-regulation works very well in the blogosphere because retorts, criticisms and complaints can be levelled immediately and in real-time – and in this case have patently led to positive action. I will blog in detail on potential blogging regulations as a result of the Leveson Inquiry another time but my initial view is existing laws and common sense is working quite well in the Ipswich political blogosphere at least.