Official: Lady Dorrian Rules Courts Should Apply Different Standards to Bloggers and Mainstream Media 241


We are racing to lodge our application to the Supreme Court by Friday, so I am just going to post an email I just sent my legal team:

BEGINS

This is an extraordinary passage of the Opinion:

“(4) The applicant describes himself as a “journalist in new media”. Whatever that may involve, it is relevant to distinguish his position from that of the mainstream press, which is regulated, and subject to codes of practice and ethics in a way in which those writing as the applicant does are not. To the extent that the submissions for the applicant make comparisons with other press contempts, and the role of mainstream journalists, this is a factor which should be recognised”.

What does the last sentence mean in practice? Well, submissions for the applicant only made comparisons with other press contempts in two areas:

1) Disproportionate sentencing compared to other press contempts

2) Implicitly, that the opinion poll showing mainstream media responsible for far more jigsaw identification demonstrates selective prosecution.

It seems to me much more likely she is referring to 1). In which case she can ONLY mean there should be a different sentencing tariff for bloggers than mainstream media. IN PRACTICE SHE IS ARGUING THAT BLOGGERS SHOULD BE JAILED AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA NOT.

If she did mean 2), she can only be arguing that a different bar for contempt? jigsaw identification? should be applied to mainstream media journalists as opposed to bloggers, and it is OK selectively to prosecute bloggers but not mainstream media for doing the same thing.

Either way, this seems to me a screaming red flag Article 10 AND due process area that ought to grab the attention of the Supreme Court.

It seems to me quite incredible to argue that an employee of Murdoch or other tabloids has intrinsically higher ethical standards than a former senior diplomat, British Ambassador and University Rector, and therefore the tabloid hack must be, openly and acknowledged, treated by more favorable standards by the courts.

Frankly, that is nuts. I find it hard to believe she wrote that paragraph – but I am very glad she did. It shows a very great deal indeed.

———————————–

There is of course a major difference in the finances of bloggers and mainstream media and it is an unfortunate truth that an appeal to the Supreme Court will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Details of how to contribute to Craig Murray’s Defence Fund are here:




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241 thoughts on “Official: Lady Dorrian Rules Courts Should Apply Different Standards to Bloggers and Mainstream Media

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  • AAMVN

    I am shocked how this judge can expect to get away with this, frankly. Shocked but not surprised as the cliche goes.

    Posterity will judge her harshly. She can’t be so obtuse to think otherwise.

    Thoughts for you and your family in these difficult times. Sorry I cannot send money or do anything of practical use.

    • Jaggy.blog

      What’s particularly shocking is her reference to the mainstream press being “regulated, and subject to codes of practice and ethics”. Most of the press are regulated by their own chosen self-regulator IPSO. which states in its guidance on coverage of sexual offences that jigsaw identification requires pieces to be provided by different publications plural. So it is impossible for Craig Murray to have committed this vague crime in his own. Here is what I posted about what is obviously a very highly selective prosecution:
      https://jaggy.blog/2021/06/05/completing-the-craig-murray-jigsaw/

  • Courtenay Barnett

    When analysed with application of consistently logical thought – the Judge’s thought processes do indicate an application of double-standards to uphold this prosecution.

    She is 1) confused or 2) confusing or 3) self-serving to arrive at her predetermined end – versus – the end to which the evidence should lead her or 4) all the foregoing.

    • John O'Dowd

      Great to see an external, honest legal mind applied to this.

      Those of us who know Scottish lawyers are well used to hearing about the intellectual and legal summersaults used by the Scottish judiciary to arrive at and maintain their often perverse judgements, often in the face of unassailable contrary facts and arguments.

      Indeed, all of the above. But the overwhelming motive in all of this is self-serving. These people see their jobs as keeping the restless natives in check. That’s how and why they get the job – and that is how they advance in the racket that is the Scottish judicial system.

      It has nothing to do with justice or public service.

          • John O'Dowd

            “Contrived does it for me” Alf.

            Decide the ‘desired’ result, then reverse engineer the artifice to ‘justify’ it – regardless of merit, logic, justice or decency. It fools only the foolish.

            But then, as we have discussed, they need not justify themselves to anyone.

            Contrived.

  • Robert

    “To the extent that the submissions for the applicant make comparisons with other press contempts”

    At least she acknowledges that the other press *were* in contempt with regard to this.

    The fact that they weren’t prosecuted but you were should not be determined by whether or not codes of practice are expected to apply to them. How many times do newspapers break their codes of practice? Plenty do it every single day.

  • DunGroanin

    The Good Law project is making serious and FAST incursions upon the Brittannia Unhinged petty patels.

    Perhaps they can pile in on this too in as the battle arrives on their doorstep in London?

    Also to repeat my instathought last night – I expect the Good Lord Justice Leveson can remove himself from the shelf he was put in to gather dust as the MSM and its controllers defied his Judicial Inquiry.

    Something very good may come of this disgusting hanging judge colonialist behaviour – a free Scotland with the first real independent media regulator that works to the Leveson recommendations.

    An extra pony on top of regular donation on way to strengthen the march to the ECHR. With a triumphal return to clear the stables in Edinburgh.

    Onivar!

  • H Scott

    I would expect, if there is to be discrimination between bloggers and ‘journalists’, that the judge would be stricter with journalists precisely because they are professional journalists.

    • Republicofscotland

      H.Scott.

      In an ideal world yes, but we’re not in an ideal world, and then of course there’s Craig’s lawyers corrupt Edinburgh quote, which says it all really.

    • Tom Welsh

      But not, because they are “professional journalists” paid to write whatever the government wants them to write. They can of course write something else – if they want to be unemployed and unemployable.

      There is no need to prosecute them, for the same reason that there is no need to prosecute civil servants. They can be disciplined, put on probation, or sacked. Above all, most of them are never going to do or say anything that prejudices their (tiny) prospects of promotion.

  • iain

    It is one of the most glaring cases of selective prosecution/ political persecution this country has ever witnessed and they know it. Their attempt to explain why more guilty mainstream hacks were not prosecuted is a masterclass of backwards logic. To wit .. Garavelli and the rest recklessly identified the complainants because Garavelli and Co are more regulated and ethical than Craig Murray.
    How dare they present such foolishness before intelligent people in circumstances where a man’s liberty is a stake.

  • Penguin

    As reported in another place.

    You can’t have a single piece jigsaw, therefore if CM is guilty then at least one other person also has to be guilty. Did lady dorian give any clues as to the identity of those people? Or warn us as to what exactly we can say about this case without running afoul of her selective prosecution?

    Judges should not be demonstrably thicker than pigshit, or subject to such obvious personal bias.

    We need a mechanism to throw them out when they prove to be unable to do their jobs on behalf of the people. Not rely on failed politicians.

    • Robert

      Sadly, one could have a single relevant piece. The other pieces could be public information – such as part of the charges. I suspect that logically the order in which the pieces are revealed matters as well. The expectation could be that anyone contemplating contributing a jigsaw piece should be aware of the previous pieces.

      Let’s not lose sight that the corruption here is mainly in the prosecution service, deciding who not to prosecute.

      • vin_ot

        Let’s not lose sight that the judges were the ones who convicted, decided on a custodial sentence, and issued this ludicrous ruling on why MSM should not be prosecuted despite being worse offenders.

        The question is who instructed the Lord Advocate and the judges to take all these actions.

      • Robert

        (Different Robert here)
        For what it’s worth, I realised one of the names from a piece of key information in a news article by Severin Carrell in the Guardian. There was only one person it could be. Dani Garavelli then revealed which letter this person was, therefore the particular crime she accused AS of.
        From Craig’s reporting I learned why that accusation was thrown out. But I already knew her name.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Judges should not be demonstrably thicker than pigshit, or subject to such obvious personal bias”.

      Actually, Penguin, I don’t think it matters in the slightest if they are thicker than pigshit – as long as they have the arbitrary power to imprison anyone who says anything they dislike.

      “The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government, whether Nazi or Communist”.
      — Winston Churchill (cable to Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary, in 1943 on the occasion of the latter’s releasing Sir Oswald and Lady Diana Mosley from detention without trial)

  • Fwl

    It’s not possible to comment on a para in isolation, but rather generally:

    One expects higher standards from a regulated person and a harsher punishment for the regulated than for an unregulated person.

    For eg one would generally assume that a Court will require a higher standard of court conduct from a regulated and trained barrister than from say an unregulated and untrained McKenzie Friend who is helping out a litigant in person. If say a barrister and a McKenzie Friend both did something outrageous in Court one might expect the former to suffer a harsher punishment on the they should know better basis.

    Similarly with regulated and unregulated journalists / reporters.

    • John Baird Andra Hardie and James Wilson

      Not wanting to be negative but realistic there is ample evidence that being innocent does not help.
      There is a young man who has been in prison since he was 15 in Scotland condemned not by evidence by the Hysterical Hyenas of the MSM and in this culture of the lowest common denominator his being articulate and intelligent was used against him, no shred of forensic evidence, and he has already served 17 years and unless he agrees to accept a guilty plea for something he didn’t do he will never be released. Our corrupt system has the police and MSM working together before any case comes before a court. In the last forty years the people most oppressed in this country are the folk who think for themselves, people with integrity and morals who are altruistic and work for the greater good, they are deprived of jobs, a life often a family home and ultimately their voices are obscured one way or another.

  • Peter

    It seems to me that the judge is so confident in her untouchable, highfalutin position that she thinks she can say anything she wants – any old rubbish – and expect it to be taken as holy writ.

    As I see it, she seems to be saying that because the MSM is subject to (laughable) regulation they are not subject to the law (to the same extent?) as that is the business of the regulator, whilst, in her perspective, bloggers are not regulated therefore more stringently subject to the law.

    This is her excuse for not prosecuting the MSM – Garavelli, Wark &c – because they are subject to statutory regulation.

    In effect she is saying, in this context, the MSM can break the law but that that is not an issue for the law – rubbish, nonsense, call it what you will – I think the Supreme Court may disagree.

    These comments are also tantamount to recognition and admission that some in the MSM are GUILTY of aiding identification of the complainants but are not being prosecuted for this apparently oh so serious crime for the given reason.

    And then she goes on to say that there are no technical legal grounds for appeal against the findings.

    Laugh or cry? You decide, there are grounds for both.

  • Mart

    It looks like desperate barrel-scraping to me, and her Ladyship’s need to descend to such absurd depths is a direct consequence of the perversity of her judgement.

  • ET

    “Whatever that may involve, it is relevant to distinguish his position from that of the mainstream press, which is regulated, and subject to codes of practice and ethics in a way in which those writing as the applicant does are not.”

    I’d suggest “the applicant” subjects himself to a higher level of codes of practice and more robust ethics in his writing. In any event, if other’s such as Garavelli were culpable in aiding jigsaw identification then it’s hard to argue they have superior codes and ethics.
    Also, simply because MSM is regulated by codes of practice and ethics doesn’t mean that such codes of practice and ethics are always upheld as with any activity with codes of practice and ethics. Just because they are present doesn’t automatically give MSM superiority in its reporting.

  • Robert Graham

    Looks like Lady what’s her name is making this up as she goes along, who is behind this vendetta against Indy supporters, I think you will find its the present occupant of Bute House, you know the one who has never attended one Independence march, not one. Aye, she has fooled us all: she is either totally stupid and inept or she is an agent of the British state, you choose.

    • Mist001

      I don’t believe that she’s an agent of the British state but I do believe that someone close to her who has her ear, is.

      I also believe I know who that person is. It’s just a series of things that have led me to my belief, kind of ‘jigsaw identification’ if you will.

      I’m not joking, you’d laugh if I had to stand here and tell you who I believe this person to be!

  • Jules Orr

    The mainstream press did not abide by regulation or its code of practices and ethics. They were the worst offenders according to all the polling. So why were none of them prosecuted again?

    • Tom Welsh

      Because the regulation and the codes of ethics are mere window-dressing. They are not there to be obeyed; they are there to make the media look nice and responsible.

      The real rules and orders are not for public consumption. And the penalties for disobedience, while severe, are not made public.

  • Ewan

    The Code of Practice seems to apply to that which is reported rather than that which is not reported or under-reported, as in the 1/2 million people who marched against Covid restriction a couple of weeks ago. No acknowledgment of the UK public whatsoever, which I think constitutes a breaking of high standards. Is there a forum where MSM outlets can be questioned about what they leave out and why?

    Of course, this case, Assange’s case, the case of Harry Dunn, the Salmond case:

    ” What about this Assange fellow, dear editor?’

    ” It’s obviously far too complex a case to go into detail, the public won’t wash it. They want clear, unequivocal reporting not legal gymnastics.” etc etc

  • Tatyana

    Your judge tells you in plain text that you must obtain a license in order to speak.
    She explains that only selected people can speak to the public through designated channels.
    All others who want to open their mouths and bring their point of view will be “distinguished” , “recognised” and at the end sentenced to jail.
    Welcome to Soviet Union 2.0

    • Yalt

      What’s required to be a mainstream journalist is not a license, it’s to be a journalist _for_ someone, someone of wealth and power, indeed of wealth sufficient to own a media outlet, and who can reasonably be expected to support the system that has allowed the accumulation and maintenance of that wealth.

      Craig is masterless. That makes him difficult to control, and it offends.

  • Sikunder Smoulders

    It would seem that there are no limits to which this cabal will not stoop to defend the privileges of their rotten borough, now just a malfunctioning backwater of the banana monarchy.
    Let’s hope “Dobbin Dorrian” has shot herself in the hoof in this ridiculous, irrational attempt to establish a legalised precedent for censorship of honest dissent.
    You have our full support & solidarity for your courageous stand, & should you require it further, whatever financial assistance we can muster.
    All the best.

  • Jo1

    I too am absolutely gobsmacked that LD has committed so much to print which is, frankly, damning and brings her judgement into question. Her intensely personal conduct in this particular case gets more bizarre by the day and is utterly extraordinary. She is absolutely bringing the judiciary into disrepute through her conduct and, I have to say, pretty clear bias, and I cannot understand how she has not been required to recuse herself from this case.
    She absolutely is now, saying that mainstream publications are regulated and seems to suggest that this means those MSM journalists who breached contempt law cannot be touched. Seriously? I’m no legal eagle but, sorry, Lady D, your argument is bonkers!
    How on earth can she get away with all these statements without being challenged by someone, anyone, who actually has the authority to call her judgement into question?

  • Giyane

    It’s not just Lady Dorrian, this is what most middle class people think. Once the had completed potty training and learning not to think, the rest of their lives is spent agreeing with the MSM and castigating who they are told to castigate.

    Until there comes a day on which they have to make their strange opinions public and they realise that the Supreme Court they assumed agreed with them, actually doesn’t. At that point they giggle and say, silly me , I thought everyone knew that Putin installed Trump in the White House, and Craig Murray was a crank.

    Some of my own family are like that. When Craig says that he priced in the possibility of being sent to jail , he must have priced it on the basis of judges being knowledgeable and sensible. No, they’re not. They are either deviant or brain-dead. Their lives are constructed on their intellectual mastery of human deviance or human ignorance,

    Good behaviour or intelligence are not considered suitable requirements for becoming a judge, and they never have.

    • Shatnersrug

      Giyane

      TBF it does take 7 years of hard graft to pass the bar, that does require the odd braincell, but boy do lawyers like a drink, by the time they get to QC they’ve probably drunk the grey matter away!

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Less than 5% of folk attend private schools in Scotland. Of the 12 first and second division Judges that make up Scotland’s College of Justice three quarters were privately educated. These figures are from 2015 but I doubt anything has changed.

      • Shatnersrug

        That is the structural problem with the whole of the UK, and it’s why we have so many incompetents in charge.

        • Bayard

          If you did away with private education, you’d still have the same incompetents in charge, they just wouldn’t be so easily identifiable. Members of the tribe can still recognise each other, even without the aid of old school ties.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ah, this is good Craig its definitely a faux pas by Dorrian, and I’ll be most interested to see how the Supreme court interprets it, for it certainly smacks of double standards.

    • jake

      It’s entirely possible that the Supreme Court will interpret it as “orbiter dicta” rather than “ratio decidendi”. On its own I doubt its quite the “get out of jail free” card you think it is. Judges and courts have been around for a long time…they’ve got this kind of thing well covered.

  • Jo1

    Have just remembered something else. When the AS trial started warnings were issued to ALL media about reporting and any incidents which risked identification of accusers. This warning applied to ALL media, not just internet publications. It stated that contempt proceedings would be launched on ANY media outlet which breached the order. Lady Dorrian appears, now, to have turned that on its head by suggesting it didn’t apply to MSM journalists.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Jo1,

      “Lady Dorrian appears, now, to have turned that on its head by suggesting it didn’t apply to MSM journalists.”

      She had to do that in an attempt to justify and validate the necessary prosecution of solely Craig Murray.

      Quite clear what transpired. Not impressed by the Judges reasoning ability ( lack thereof?)

  • Jennifer Allan

    From the Court Transcript:-

    “………….other complainers where the information which gave rise to the contempt related to material already known within the public domain, or otherwise easily accessible to the public. Thus, even if the court erred in paragraph 57, that error had no consequences, since the court did not proceed on that narrower basis. The court did not conclude that the risk of identification was restricted to those in any complainer’s immediate or personal circle. It made no error in applying the correct objective test.”

    Have I got this right? Because Craig’s blog included material already published elsewhere, in the public domain and ‘easily accessible’ , (e.g the Garavelli/Wark BBC programme and the complainant identifying stuff in the Herald, Record, Sun etc), then the fact that the Court probably ‘erred’ by apparently singling out Craig for prosecution over this material did not matter, because according to the Judges there were no ‘consequences’? ( I would beg to differ).
    But that’s OK then, since the Judges were at pains to state they were being ‘objective’.

    “Having reached the conclusion that there are no arguable points of law arising, the court will refuse the application.”

    I hope the Supreme Court accepts Craig’s Appeal.

  • Brendan

    Is Lady Dorrian obliged to explain what she means in that passage? My interpretation of what she says is this:

    Before something is published in mainstream media, it has to go through a rigorous system where the MSM is regulated and subject to codes of practice and ethics. It is therefore almost impossible for the MSM to be guilty of jigsaw identification of alleged victims.

    If that’s what she is saying, she is refusing to properly address the submissions for the applicant.

    • Jim Sinclare

      I think that’s what she is saying. Previously she had ruled it was irrelevant that no mainstream media had been prosecuted. Now it’s going to the Supreme Court, it’s an issue.

  • Kate

    Is that actually so, that the MSM journalists are ‘regulated’? Is their ‘regulator’ not that of IPSO? Because I believe that that ‘regulator’ actually does not have the power to enforce repeated & systematic breaches of the Code or make journalists tow the line. When it does enforce any rules, it has the power to decide on disciplinary action about its own members, so hardly likely to make any disciplinary action meaningful! IPSO is owned & controlled by the very Journalists it pretends to regulate, so hardly a neutral ‘regulator’. And VERY far from a regulating body Ms Dorrian perceives it to be! Then again, she may well know and understand this pertinent point…

    Thus it would seem MSM is every bit as ‘UNregulated’ as bloggers. And as such, any court decisions re bloggers & MSM journalists should be treated on a par with each other.

    • Stevie Boy

      I may have this wrong, but I believe that, the press are NOT regulated by the state/Law they are self regulated, ie. mark their own homework. Even D Notices are voluntarily followed not legally enforced.
      Apologies if this is hogwash.

      • Kate

        Yes, Stevie, that’s exactly the point I was making… But you put it much more succinctly.

        They are self-regulating & thus can hardly be held up as being much more controlled in their writings. Thus, as I see it, journalists’ writings should NOT be assumed to be any less controversial in terms of what is lawful to write & the law should not assume their writing has been better vetted for libel or contempt. Bloggers need to be accepted as the new media & not assume only they flout any laws.

        Any libelous or contemptuous writing content should merit disciplinary measures EQUALLY. Craig’s case will, hopefully, shine a light on this huge discrepancy & hopefully will commence the process of change in Scottish law to reflect ALL media writings equally, & not just those with whom the law may be sympathetic.

      • Joan Hutcheson

        MSM is not required to be regulated by the Press Complaints Commission. It’s voluntary and media can sign up to it or not. Lady Dorrian doesn’t seem to know this.

  • Fleur

    The Court is obviously trying to wear Craig out (energy, time, money, etc), as well as to remove his relevant past publications from public view and curtail any further commentary. I guess we will see about that.

    If Craig is jailed, I suggest a very concerted campaign aimed at the other known “jigsaw identifiers” (ie people who disclosed the same amount or more of info) telling them they are now expected to line up at the prison gates and demand admission (as prisoners) – in support of a fellow journalist, and in support of the Rule Of Law, which should be applied equally to all.

    Shame theme widely!

    • Riuch

      Wearing the opponent out is standard government practice. If it’s a complaint to a local government office or something much larger. They know people have a point were they sum up the outcome with the work and stress involved. Their statistics will tell them how many people fell victim to this and what to do to get someone to beat it.

  • Catherine Sengupta

    I hope this so called Judge can sleep easy in her viper’s nest. She is a disgrace to the Scottish Justice system which has been infiltrated by biased and malevolent people who have no right to be there, far less passing fake judgement and the temerity to refuse leave to appeal. Why is a sentencing judge even involved in the appeal process? A conflict of interest surely. It’s worse that she is not held to account for these archaic practices.

    • Antiwar7

      I hope she can’t. I hope her bias and evil get widely exposed, and she gets the public vilification she so richly deserves.

  • Del G

    Craig, we can all recognise your strength of spirit, but your health and bank balance are finite and need to be protected. There’s little that others on this forum can do to promote good health; but financial security will improve your well-being.
    You may not be in a position, but it would be good if we knew the costs for the court case and your work against sentencing, plus the likely costs of taking this to the Supreme court. Your lawyers must have ballpark figures. “hundreds of thousands ” sounds awfully unspecific. That would provide substance to an appeal for donations to help with costs, and might persuade a few others to help.
    Very best wishes in the fight ahead.

    • Jon

      I’ll do a bit of amateur sleuthing and estimating.

      Craig’s comments on the fund a month ago:

      May 11th 2021: The total raised by the defence fund to date is around £143,000.

      UPDATE The defence fund has received £46,520 in the 24 hours since it was relaunched to fund the appeal to the Supreme Court.

      with the balance of around £18,000 paid so far having come from my personal pocket.

      Kitty contained around £210k

      Legal bills actually paid to date amount to £161,000, with about eight thousand not billed yet.

      Non-legal costs, including the opinion poll, total around £9,000.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/05/appeal-for-defence-funds/

      So that’s £177k costs to fight in Edinburgh, and I dare say that figure has increased in the last 30 days. In the unlikely event that there has been no new expenditure for the Edinburgh case, that would leave £33k in the kitty plus whatever has been raised since the latest appeal.

      (That said, the new appeal text above says that £46,520 was for the SC appeal – however I wrote that off in the Edinburgh expenses. Maybe the fund is in better health than it initially appears – though I doubt it has everything it needs).

      I would certainly support an updated financial position on Twitter, or a new appeal – I’d be happy to contribute again.

      • craig Post author

        Thank you Jon,

        I am afraid that Del G’s question is how long is a piece of string. Very hard indeed to know what Supreme Court costs will stack up to.

        Bills actually paid for Edinburgh process so far are approx £180,000, and not I think final.

        I suspect the Supreme Court process will cost more, but not an order of magnitude more.

        There is money in the kitty but every time I announce how much I find it prompts a bill from the lawyers!!

        • Jon

          Ah, I wondered if there was a good reason to slow down kitty announcements! I had thought there might have been some legal advice not to shout about it, lest an angry judge apply a disproportionate fine that she knew you could afford 🙁

          I do hope the lawyers will leave something in the funds for the next part of the process.

  • Joan Hutcheson

    Dorrian appears to suggest that somehow Craig Murray is not a ‘real’ journalist because new media/ bloggers are not regulated by the Press Complaints Commission. I offer 2 comments about this.
    (1). Newspapers are not required to submit to regulation by the PCC. Most do so but this is voluntary.
    (2.). Even if, for the sake of argument, he were NOT a ‘real’ journalist, there is no reason why he should not refer to the publications of ‘real’ journalists because the criterion is PUBLICATION of matters that may constitute contempt. It is not about the status of the writer. Clearly Craig Murray wishes to highlight that he is a serious, professional writer and not what Lady Dorrian and her ilk might otherwise regard as a ‘wired-to-the-moon’ social media type. Her comment ‘whatever that means’ about new forms of journalism displays both preciousness and ignorance.

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