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On hobby horses

One argument I frequently encounter when I talk to journalists and editors about blogging, is how bloggers are untrustworthy because they have all sorts of hobby horses. Now, I could say a lot about that proposition, but I have one of those days with little time for blogging (and, yes, I do have a few comments and emails I hope to get back to as soon as I can), so instead of trying to line up some profound arguments, I'll just leave you with this quote I nicked from Siobhain Butterworth:

Laurence Sterne wrote in Tristram Shandy: "Have not the wisest of men in all ages, not excepting Solomon himself, have they not had their hobby horses; their running horses, their coins and their cockle-shells, their drums and their trumpets, their fiddles, their pallets, their maggots and their butterflies? And so long as a man rides his hobby horse peaceably and quietly along the King's highway, and neither compels you or me to get up behind him, pray, Sir, what have either you or I to do with it?"


That's weird why the "hobby horse" argument is being put forth. It implies that some bloggers have obsessions, which is true, but it is also pretty clear that a considerable number of bloggers have specialized knowledge in what they write about.

It would seem to me that to use the hobby horse argument would involve conceding that a blogger might know a field better than a beat reporter.

Do most people you encounter say that any given blogger has a number of hobby horses, and that's the problem?

A friend's post that might be of interest on the same topic is here:

No, the people I encounter who use this argument tend to say bloggers can't be trusted because they have agendas, interests, hobby horses. Whereas journalists, as we all know, don't:-)

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