So, as we get to the end of the year, we finally get to unveil the new Awards categories. Thanks to all of you who took the time to propose them and especially to those brave few who made their ways out through the snow last Friday to help shortlist the new categories; not least Quintin Oliver from Stratagem who deputised for me at the last moment.
So, here they are, mixed with some familiar old ones. We’ll be running threads for each of these between now and the Big Breakfast event at the Europa on the 13th January where we’ll run a cabaret type event and we’ll be shortlisting the candidates. But certainly you can give us your starter for ten.
Just remember to keep it positive!
‘Challenge your own Community’. For courageous positioning which seeks to shine a light on the accepted truths of its own community in order to help us understand the ‘other’ better, or point towards ‘shared solutions’.
“Investigative journalism’. Those occasions when journalists have been prepared to look behind the press releases of an organization and dig out what the whole or true story is. We are looking for tenacity and investment in the story over a period of time.
‘Political Journalist of the Year’. Overall the journalist who has contributed most in the last year. Past winners: David Gordon; Julia Paul.
‘Building trust and credibility in politics’: For examples of trust building, rather than relying on blind tribal faith, by engaging directly and openly with communities or constituency groups. It also might include participatory initiatives, and admitting limitations or even failures.
‘Constructive opposition’. Opposition is tough in Stormont’s. But constructive opposition where politicians have pointed to flaws, whilst offering practical alternatives is crucial to the credibility of the institutions.
‘Up and Coming Politician’: This is an opportunity to talent scout the talent of the future. This year there is a large new intake of co-opted MLAs, so there should be some good candidates to pick from. Past winners: Naomi Long; Dawn Purvis.
Public and voluntary bodies:
‘Thinker and Explainer’ – A conversational approach to public policy – rewarding organisations that have sought to make policy issues understandable to a wider audience, thereby increasing the capacity to participate.
‘Creative engagement’ – For the organisation that has most effectively built a positive consensus behind the need for some form of practical change or collective action.
‘Campaign of the Year’ – Best and most innovative example of a successful public campaign.
‘Politician of the Year’ – Overall the most senior award, open to Northern Irish politicians at all levels of government, and assemblies. Past winners: Peter Robinson; Martin McGuinness.
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