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Britain’s feisty news show host Piers Morgan in an online brawl with an “Anonymous Journalist” on Twitter last week summarized the peculiar challenges and chicanery of the digital age journalism of our days. In a series of 22 tweets, an ‘Anonymous Journalist’ (the Twitter account name) accused the former editor and now ‘Good Morning Britain’ host Morgan of buying fake followers to inflate his 7.5 million Twitter following – the most-followed Twitter account of a journalist in Britain, if not the world.
Morgan denied and threatened “action” against the accuser.
Their spat caused interest partly because Morgan evokes extremes of people liking or detesting him.
But the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Morgan’s media life reflects the boons and banes of journalism in Internet times. Since the Internet with the World Wide Web entered our lives mid-1990s, journalism had a stirring shakeup of a kind that affected no other essential service or industry.
It affected all levels. Within two decades, relatively solid print media editorial meetings judging newsworthy articles have given way these days more to chasing ‘clicks’ of the digital age. Statistics of website visitors’ preferences increasingly determine what can be published or binned.
We have not merely the …
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