The editor of the BBC College of Journalism has claimed that leading bloggers ape more traditional political journalism rather than offering an alternative discourse.

Speaking on a panel, at London's Frontline club last week to mark World Press Freedom Day, Kevin Marsh said that blogging was not a panacea for political journalism.

"What is really worrying is the speed with which the political bloggers in the US and here have replicated the faults of political journalism," he said.

"Political blogging in the States, more or less, is characterised as being a running commentary on the failings of mainstream political journalism.

"Here [in the UK] political blogging is literally replicating political journalism. If you go to some of the more popular political blogging sites you're seeing the same things happening there: rumour, stories about what's happening to special assistants, who is switching sides in the Labour deputy leader contest. These are the very same things that are alienating people from political journalism."

Mr Marsh added: "It's interesting to hear about the struggle to find the civic and political voice [through blogs] in authoritarian societies…it's humbling and shaming at the same time as we look at what has happened to political journalism in the US and UK where in the last 25 years it has degraded into something, blogger or not, could do rather better."

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