The debate about The Times' move to out police blogger NightJack continues in the blogosphere.
A thoughtful contribution comes from Martin Cloake on his blog.
He raises some interesting questions, like :"Suppose a serving police officer wrote an anonymous blog which gave his views of the job from his perspective as a member of the British National Party. And suppose an enterprising journalist examined the details in that blog and managed to unmask the identity of the officer concerned. Suppose a little further that the officer tried to prevent publication of his name, but that the court ruled his blog did not give him an automatic right to privacy. What would the shape of the ensuing debate be? "
Also:"Some may see this as evidence of the vendetta against ‘new’ media being waged by the ‘old order’. I’m afraid I see no evidence of any such vendetta or conspiracy, and I think it’s a fairly childish accusation to make."
And: "But I’m still troubled by what The Times thought it would gain – just as I’m troubled by the vitriol that’s being directed at Foster, a journalist who was doing his job properly. What I think is particularly interesting about this case is that many people seem to be taking positions on the basis of their opinion of the NightJack blog, The Times, or the police"
Martin adds:"For the record, the limited extracts I saw of the NightJack blog made stimulating, engaging and occasionally troubling reading. But you can’t base a principle on whether or not you agree with something – a principle has to apply across the board. You can’t agree with one person’s ‘right’ to run an anonymous blog criticising something you are critical of while simultaneously disagreeing with another person’s ‘right’ to hide behind anonymity in order to push views you don’t agree with."
Thought provoking stuff, which doesn't go for the old versus new media angle which has typified much of the comment on the NightJack case.