It’s a bit poor to get scooped by the BBC on our first Award in a few years.. I was pleasantly surprised to receive it, given the calibre of people who were there. The Iraqi journalist who picked his award up before me had been sentenced to death and then tortured in Abu Ghraib under the Sadam regime. Another was the anchor man on Israeli Channel 10, Shlomo Eldar, whose work brought the savage reality of the recent Gaza war back to Israeli homes, did much to end hostilities there. Needless to say it was a humbling experience.Even in our darkest times we never suffered the scale of destruction that consumes the Middle East, and arguably Slugger has only come on the tail end of those hostilities… In essence, if Slugger has stood for anything (more than an aid to good journalists, and conscientious politicians), it is to strive toward what Michael Longley put so eloquently and comprehensively:
Its how we interact with one another, civilization. On the one hand, Im interested in how we avoid tearing one another to pieces. Peace is not that, peace is the absence of that, peace is the absence of war: the opposite of war is custom, customs, and civilization. Civilization is custom and manners and ceremony, the things that Yeats says in A Prayer for My Daughter. We have a vocabulary of how to deal with one another and how to behave, a vocabulary of behavior, as well as things to say to one another . . . and out of that come laws and agreed ways of doing things . . . and that in daily life are a bit like form in poetry.
Thanks to all here at Slugger, bloggers and fair play commenters. What we have is a public space here that has only received the barest minimum of funding (and fewer expenses) in its nearly seven years. I hope the next seven will see us more consistently breaking out of the tight confines of the Internet…
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