Monday 17 January 2011

Is this what Boris meant? Liz Jones takes web beating for her article on Joanna Yeates

Boris Johnson in the Telegraph today welcomed the way the internet has opened up journalists to scrutiny and comments by readers.

It was headlined: 'Getting beaten up in cyberspace does no one much harm.'

I wonder if Liz Jones agrees. Her Mail on Sunday piece based on visiting the last places Joanna Yeates was seen in Bristol before her murder has attracted an avalanche of hostile postings on MailOnline.

Jones' observations included: "The bar is OK but ordinary. The wine list, chalked on a board, says ‘Lauren Perrier’. I wish she had spent what were probably her last hours on earth somewhere lovelier. The food is awful (I ask for a veggie burger and it comes without the burger – and without the bun!)."

The article has provoked comments such as "pathetic", "shameful", "morbid", "embarrassing", "weird and creepy," "cringe worthy, " "trite" and "self obsessed".

As Boris says: "When we write our pieces, thousands of eyes are scanning them for errors of fact and taste – and now our critics cannot only harrumph and curse us. They can tell the world – in seconds – where they think we have gone wrong."

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