One of the best decisions I made in 2019 was to return to the WordPress community.
As I rule, I set aside 30 to 60 minutes a day to examine the media of the day and get some kind of picture of what’s going on. This year, I abandoned conventional print media and looked instead to the digital communities, and found them far richer and in touch with reality that their aging, aged counterparts.
In the last year, there’s been a concerted effort to shut down all UK media access to film outside of London, and have the same five middle-aged white guys hold all the power in terms of reviews. Disney refuse to press-screen their work outside of London. Scottish journalists asking Universal for access to Jordan Peele’s Us, after the film’s successful inclusiveness tour of America, were told we had to travel to another country and pay for the 1000 mile round trip ourselves if we wanted to have an opinion on this timely satire on cultural elitism. Money is not an issue in either case; using artist’s work to create an uneven playing field, cut off the oxygen to non-London journalism and stop freedom of speech is the actual nub.
So WordPress provides a platform to send secret messages while a race and class war rages. The writers are not attached to conglomerate-owned publications, and their opinions are enlightening and often surprising. I’ve enjoyed reading such august blogs as the meticulous Mike Perry, board game aficionado Michel, the arcane recommendations of Bandsaboutmovies and the effusive Virginie Pronovost, who is currently working her way through every Carry On Film ever made. The pithy Sarah C , the informative and entertaining Derrick Ferguson, the charismatic style of Jason’s Movie Blog all informed my choices. Also I’ll always make time for such waspish, knowledgable wits as Walter Tyrone Howard, Notlefthandedfilmguide, John Grant, and Thane62. Aside from the movies, there’s solace in the black and white photography featured by Lluis Busse or JR , or savouring the amazing recipes featured by Fabiano Gasparini a Italian chef living in Spain. There’s many more, but that will do for a sample!
If this a healthier diet than scoring digital newspapers for a shred of relevant prose? You bet it is; blogging is a separate tier from print journalism, and seems to be in rude health. Ninety per cent of everything is rubbish, but I feel on balance that there are more trustworthy, incisive writers working on WordPress than in print and broadcast media. And there’s more support and camaraderie; I’ve written regualrly for three million people, and yet get more meaningful feedback from articles read by just 500 here.
So Happy New Year to you all, you wordpress bloggers, and here’s to 2020!