Monday, October 25, 2010
Channel 4 Young Blogger: Essex Boy Votes For Essex Girl
On Friday morning I spent a very pleasant hour in the company of Jon Snow, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Richard Bacon, Josh Halliday, Vicky Taylor and Benjamin Cohen judging the Channel 4 News Young Blogger of the Year. They had about 90 entries asked us to judge from a shortlist of about a dozen. I was very clear that there was one blog which was head and shoulders above the rest and found that most of the others agreed. In the end, most of the discussion concerned who else we should commend.
The winning blog was Teen Dreaming, written by my seventeen year old Essex compatriot, Louise Jones. Her blog is not hugely political but it is brilliantly written, with a great sense of humour and she inserts her personality into it totally, which I reckon is one of the key components for a successful blog.
Initially we were all sent one blogpost to judge from, and in Louise's case it was one she had written about 9/11.
Jon Snow, Presenter, Channel 4 News – who will interview Louise on this evening’s programme said: "Louise captured the world through a 17 year old’s eyes. Her blog was funny, topical – but most importantly, it felt like her immediate reflections on the world around her – not an essay or a print article. I know she will be a brilliant addition to our site – and I look forward to asking her more tonight."”
Krishnan Guru Murthy said he liked Louise’s blog because "she sounds like a teenager – she isn’t trying to sound older than she is."
Richard Bacon said: "I was looking for someone who sounded passionate, authentically young and who I would definitely read again and I will.", whilst Josh Halliday added; "Louise's blog is one that many teenagers can relate to. It had personality, wit – and it was news through the eyes of a 17-year-old. Very complementary to Channel 4 News' current site, I thought."
Louise, 17 lives in Brentwood, Essex with her family and started blogging in 2009. One day she hopes to write her own column for a magazine or newspaper. She has described the moment Jon Snow called her to let her know she had won: “I found out about the competition through Twitter, obviously, and it's taken over my life since the end of September. I thought about it, dreamt about it, talked (a lot) about it, wore it, ate it...well...maybe not the last two but you get my drift. I can't remember most of the conversation I had on the phone with Jon when he told me I'd won. I was too busy going !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in my head and saying 'Thank you so much!' over and over again. Sorry Jon…. Mum's said 'For goodness sake child CALM DOWN' about a trillion times in the last half an hour."
I’ve already added her to my reading list – I’m going to be recommending this girl. She has a great talent.
Part of the problem for many of the entries is that they just didn't blog regularly. Indeed, one or two had only two or three blogposts on their blog this year. OK, you don't have to blog every day, but if you only blog once a month, can you really be considered for an award? I'd say not.
The three blogs which we also commended were Renni Eddo-Lodge, Cory Hazelhurst and Jack Losh.
Here's what the judges thought about Louise's blog...
So well done, Louise. Your prize is very well deserved.