Slugger Awards 2008: Political Blogger

The blog revolution has brought a new creative class of engaged writer / reporter / photographer which has the capacity to shake up old assumptions, turn them over and offer new and diverse angles on old problems. Particularly in the last few years, Northern Ireland has developed an accelerating number of blogs. We examined those which were consistently well written, creative and challenging. And the winner is…Winner: NALIL (North Antrim Local Interest List).

This began as the blog of a group interested mostly in genealogy but also in history, culture and current affairs in the immediate area of North Antrim. It’s compiler and writer Nevin Taggart however has taken the blog far beyond the confines of local interest. Only just over a year old it began running some tightly researched stories about the plans for the Giant’s Causeway Visitors Centre which whetted the appetites of investigative journalists in the mainstream media and further research led to several stories in the print media and an edition of the BBC Spotlight programme.

Commended: Burke’s Corner.

A very high quality blog and one of the few written by an genuine political insider with a strong grasp of the historical and international tradition of traditional Conservativism. His writing is rounded, erudite and expressive of that basic message from Slugger’s first intensive research report into the future of Unionism; ie that it should get out more.

Commended: 3000 Verst of Lonliness.

Another relatively youthful blog, but by a long time Slugger commenter 3000 Versts has already been picked up and recognised in the Total Politics top 100 UK blogs of the year, coming number 2 to Slugger in the Northern Irish category and an impressive five in the unaligned blogs. It’s considered by some political insiders to be well written and wise beyond the years of its author.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Mark McGregor

    Well done Nevin, well deserved.

  • Really good to see a local area blogger winning – a reminder that local issues matter, and are more important than maintaining a hubbub of party political argument! Well done Nevin.

  • Driftwood

    A tangled web not mentioned? Sheer bias.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I don’t know if Nevin realised it when I finally met him tonight, but we’ve been sparring on the internet for nearly a decade (well before Slugger!) Nice to meet him, even if only briefly, and a big congrats.

  • Mick Fealty


    I’d like to hear more of your thinking on the bias thing (I make that 2 Unionist blogs and one non aligned, btw).

    One thing to note about these awards is that this was a qualitative process. I was surprised ATW did not have more vocal advocates in the nomination threads. It’s one of the longest running and best read political blogs on the island!

    I’ve said already elsewhere, but the arguments made by the readers here (including IIRC your good self) where the raw material the two judging panels were asked to turn over.

    Next year, I hope people will ‘get’ this at the beginning of the process, and really bust a gut to put a strong argument for their favourites!

  • Well done NALIL. I enjoyed the evening, despite defeat. Thanks Mick. Sorry not to meet you, although I did run into Turgon and several others. After securing the some I’m away to work on the many who think the blog’s poorly written and that I’m foolish! 😉

  • Dewi

    Congratulations Nevin – well deserved.

  • Many thanks to Mick and everyone for making Tuesday such a memorable experience.