We should be really pleased that the Jersey Evening Post blog is so successful. If you consider that between only three to five per cent actual leave a comment hundreds of comments are left on it's site almost on a weekly basis. This underlines the fact that a great tide of people now read their blog and new names appear daily.
As with any newspaper they have political leanings and powerful friends who they want to keep happy. The only obvious difference with the JEP is that it is not balanced game in, not having a newspaper competitor on a small island.
The good news is, should you read a story on line, underneath you can type in your email address and any old name and your comment ( if the JEP moderator allows it )it then pops up.
This is excellent news on two fronts. First it encourages the growth of citizens media in that " ordinary " people can take part in discussion without the hassle of paper writing, posting and time spent possibly wasted if the editor is not prepared to publish the letter in the letters page. Secondly, even if you are not keen to write, it engages you into reading other peoples points of view on line, a different media , which is a faster and a greener information highway.
It is not at all surprising that the JEP lets through some frankly scathing and strong opinions on various selective stories.
It's all part of the game of being influential or trying to be. So a poster called Mr T carries out a knee chopping hatchet job on what he sees as excessive public sector pay as an example, we are all meant to think, the JEP are very open and transparent.
Then other stories that they, or rather the real power behind the scenes do not want readers views published on the blog, in case they clash with in house sentiments are easily stopped by removal of the " CLICK HERE TO HAVE YOUR SAY " facility.
Another area that they are clever at, is that few, well written published letters are stored in their archives unlike Guernsey Press who use exactly the same software but store every letter for at least a year, which is easily retrieved.
I tried using their readers letters link to read again Roy Travert's excellent letter published a few nights back but again it had not been put up.
No doubt closer to the elections, honest Nev. will be heading us in the right direction on the strongest candidates to vote into office. Maybe the fly on the wall will again tell us or remind us of the wrong-doings or poor dress code of those wretched people ( my words not the fly's) who dare stand against the chosen one's.
All in all good fun, but don't forget the published £330,000 per year, that the Chief Executives of the States, contribute to the JEP income through advertising with all those glossy large and small adverts for staff etc. If we were the JEP. We would not want to lose that income.
So the game goes on of trying to get into office not necessarily the best candidate but the best JEP reported candidate that islanders read all about. Again it is excellent that the JEP have managed to bring on line probably thousands of new blog readers. This is the real difference between the 2008 and 2011 elections. People will have far more information than a quickie staged town hall hustling meeting. Possibly questioning the truth which is really an opinion of what is published in the only local paper by reading the excellent and interesting local citizen and some candidates personal blogs some which invite comments and interaction. The JEP now has internet media competition.