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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Does anyone else find the winner of the blogging prize UNREADABLE?

Compare winning blogger http://theorwellprize.co.uk/shortlists/rangers-tax-case/ to my submission at http://thebattlefieldoflove.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/my-submission-for-2012-orwell-prize-for.html

I actually cannot believe how unreadable it is.

I really cannot even make myself read it.

Every time I try I fail and just stop reading, disgusted and puzzled, rancorous and disbelieving.

I wonder what political reasons there were for choosing absolutely the dullest blogger they could find.   

4 comments:

Eric said...

'The judges said: ‘The 2012 Blog Prize showed that not only could blogs comment on current events, they could drive stories forward. Rangers Tax-Case takes what might be a dry topic – the tax affairs of a sports team – and shows how a striving for transitory success has severely distorted sporting, legal and ethical boundaries.' Might be a dry (ie boring) topic? Might? Straight from the leftie guff factory. The Orwell Prize will soon be in galactic collision with the Turner Prize.

Jeff Marshall said...

The winning title appears to be very boring indeed. And I would certainly agree that investigative journalism per se is not political writing.

Maybe its success can be accounted for by the fact that the press has abandoned proper investigative journalism.

It doesn’t entice readers in the way it did when, say, Harold Evans’ Sunday Times led the field.

There appears to be no trace in the Rangers piece of the qualities Orwell thought essential to good political writing, for which Orwell's work itself may stand as a model.

Orwell's pieces on Charles Dickens, Donald McGill, Salvador Dali, Killing an Elephant and How the Poor Die seem to show that a damned good political essay works best.

Many essays and articles by Nick Cohen, Nick Ryan, Martin Amis, the late Christopher Hitchens, Peter Hitchens, and Gore Vidal would all qualify.

However, I must also regretfully state that, in my view, much of the daily bloggery of Claire Khaw does not really make the grade either in a prize-winning sense - for her work is seldom expository, but declamatory and confrontational, with very little attempt to persuade an unsympathetic reader.

(And if there is no such attempt, such writing surely fails in its political purpose.)

There might be one or two exceptions.

Indeed, I thought the characterisation of countries bombed by the West as Emma Woodhouse was an amusing off-the-wall idea.

But this failed to be developed or exploited to any extent.

Anyway it is surely the exceptional piece of work that ought to be submitted for a prize, rather than a routine selection from a daily blog.

But, hey. Perhaps I am seriously missing the point of a ‘blogger’s prize’.

Anyway Orwell did not ‘blog’, but wrote excellent prose instead - probably with a fountain pen.

Claire Khaw said...

The word "blog" is an amalgam of the word "web" and "log". I do not think therefore that the Orwell Prize were looking for an essay per submission but something in the form of a diary entry - which may be long or short - with political content.

Politics is necessarily confrontational so I cannot see anything necessarily wrong about being confrontational per se.

Since the purpose of a blog is polemical, I really do not think length should come into it. If it is too long people simply won't want to read it.

I would therefore argue that a good political blog is one that makes you want to read it, despite disagreeing with the views of the blogger, so that there might be an exchange of ideas.

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/still-annoyed-about-orwell-prize-award.html discusses this a little more.

Claire Khaw said...

http://theorwellprize.co.uk/shortlists/graeme-archer/ was last year's winner.

http://theorwellprize.co.uk/winners/filter/type-Blog%20Prize/year-2010/ was the 2010 winner.

http://theorwellprize.co.uk/winners/filter/type-Blog%20Prize/year-2009/ was the 2009 winner.

That should give you an idea what they are looking for in a political blog.