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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

There's a bit of a debate on Tom Watson's site about reforming the way Parliament is reported, to make it easier for bloggers and others to cover the stories the Lobby has missed.

If you're interested in this, you might consider giving Tom the benefit of your advice, as he's the guy that's going to stick up for you in the Commons (I'm sure he'll thank me).

They Work for You

I don't disagree with his basic thesis - which is, I think, that there's a lot of important stuff going on in British politics that the traditional media, and particularly the national media, never cover.

As he's good enough to say in a comment, local and regional media do pay more attention to some of the issues (eg, NHS provision in Cornwall, or wherever) which he has in mind.

But I'm not sure what sort of reforms he is calling for to correct this.

As I have said before, the Lobby is nothing more than the reporters employed by media organisations to report on politics.

The reason other journalists don't come to Lobby briefings isn't because some arcane rules ban them - it's because they are transport or football correspondents, not political correspondents.

When politicians or special advisers give anonymous briefings to journalists, they are not giving them to the Lobby - just to the particular journalists they choose to talk to.

Inviting bloggers to Lobby briefings, or streaming them on a website, won't have any effect at all on anonymous briefings, which are something separate.

Furthermore, there is nothing to prevent bloggers, or anyone else, from reporting on Parliament right now.

It's streamed live on parliamentlive.tv, which also has an archive of previous debates and select committee meetings, it's available on Hansard and a mashed-up version of Hansard is available on theyworkforyou.com.

Some people are making good use of that - Tom has highlighted Ispystrangers.org. Maybe more bloggers will do so in future. And if it can be made even easier than at the moment, that's a good thing.

But if only a few are reporting on Parliament at the moment, it's not because there's anything stopping them.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

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Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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