Saturday, October 30, 2010

Total Politics Top 100 Journalists Poll - Write-in campaign for women bloggers

I decided, seeing as my health seems to have taken a bit of a dive this last week, to have a quiet Saturday morning with Earl Grey and bacon sandwiches working through my online to-do list of blog posts to write and surveys to do.

The first of these was the Total Politics Top Political Journalists poll, which closes next Tuesday, 2nd November. My only worry was that I wasn't quite feeling charitable enough this morning to do a fair job of it. Actually, I gave much higher marks than I expected to. You have to give each individual journalist marks out of ten which is actually very satisfying, much more so than I'd anticipated.

I only gave one perfect 10, to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg because I think the quality of her work, particularly in the aftermath of the election, has been outstanding. She is the clear star of the year for me.

There was a question about bloggers, too. Do not underestimate the intensity of the tantrum I threw when I realised that only two women had been included on the whole page, and those were Kerry McCarthy and Nadine Dorries. There are four women in the Total Politics Top 50 blogs of 2010. Admittedly, Laurie Penny was rightly included as a journalist earlier in the survey, but there was no Charlotte Gore, or Anna Raccoon, who deserves recognition for her work, even though she has recently given up.

What about Lynne Featherstone, a well known blogger who has written for years as a campaigner, an MP and now a Government Minister actually making things happen? Leaving her off that list is And Jennie, who has been writing about this sort of thing for ages, and Sara, and the Divine Ms Duffett, Tracy Cheetham, Mary Honeyball, Claire French, Caroline Lucas MP Subrosa or Kezia Dugdale? Much as I love the Liberal Democrat Voice boys Mark Pack and Stephen Tall, I don't see why they have been included in the list and Sara Bedford and Helen Duffett haven't.

I've thought of a way that we could raise awareness of these and any other wonderful women bloggers you might read regularly while also enhancing the Total Politics survey.  What I'd suggest is that you complete the survey as normal. On the last but one page, there is a space to include anyone that they'd left out or forgotten. Use that space to add in as many good female bloggers as you can. Then encourage as many people as you can to also fill in the survey. That way, they become aware of more female bloggers, and their survey has more credibility because of increased participation. A win all round, I'd say.

Anything you can help to boost the signal of this post would also be appreciated.

Remember, the deadline is Tuesday, so let's get the word out quickly.


Lallands Peat Worrier said...

Lots of interesting questions there, Caron. Firstly, the one you contend with specifically - areas where women bloggers may not be being recognised, noticed, fêted and so on. There is the other equally curious question - why is the politics and current affairs blogosphere so disproportionately male? After all, it is a medium which notionally supports a multitude of voices, approaches, opinions. With a little tinkering, anyone with the reticent technology and a bit of spare time can set up a blog.

So what could the barriers be? In the Scottish context at least, there is a recognisable tendency to encourage each other - argue - interlink - and potentially facilitate new folk from seizing their keyboards and setting their fingertips to work. Its a conundrum.

Keith Legg said...

I'd agree that on past evidence Kezia Dugdale should be included - her blog was lively and opinionated - but since she's shut it off to the general public it probably means she is, unfortunately, excluded through "out of sight, out of mind."


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