Slugger page views up 7.4% in 2014.

2014 has been a great year for Slugger, we have had all the major party leaders on the site in one shape or form. Along with this the Secretary of State and her Labour shadow have taken the opporunity to engage with us. We have developed the Slugger Soapbox platform and have opened it up to any politician/figure wanting to promote a cause or highlight an issue. The site is more nimble due to the excellent work that Brian O’Neill … Read more

Slugger Awards awards wash-up & prediction comp update

Mick’s wandering around Dublin today and out of reach of a good wi-fi connection, so I’m stepping in here in his place to say a few things about last night’s awards. We’ll have some photos and videos up here in due course, but I’d like to get a few things on record before the hangover wears off: Firstly, thanks to everyone who came along and was involved in the night – 200+ people came through the door. Special thanks to … Read more

Slugger Awards: And the final results are….

If you want to catch up the night as it happened on Twitter, put in the hastag #Slugger11. But here is the definitive results from the Belfast jury: (1) Investigative journalism Darragh MacIntyre – For his work on the Iris Robinson story, which had enormous political impact, and a knock-on effect throughout the system – and it might be said has helped change the tone of the politics that were to follow. The award is made in recognition of the … Read more

Slugger Awards tonight – service notice

If you’ve got a ticket for tonight’s awards and you’re coming along, we’re looking forward to seeing you. Please note that there will be no tickets available on the door and that all of the online tickets are sold out. Please don’t come along unless you already have a ticket. We’ve got a good line up and a few surprises, and if you’re not able to make it, there should be a few comments on Twitter to follow (the hashtag … Read more

Reminder: Give us your predictions for #ge11

Just a quick reminder about the prediction competition that Slugger is running on the Irish elections. There’s a £150 free bet with Betfair for the best prediction (have a look at the odds on their markets here), and they’ve got their own Election Predict site up with a good bit of detail on each constituency for the real train-spotters among you. We’ve had around 30 predictions from you so far and we’re going to make some of them (anonymously, naturally) … Read more

Slugger Awards: Tickets still left…

Just a quick note to say that the tickets are going out of the door nicely at the moment. But I’ve had a few people asking where they can get them. The answer’s simple, the top right hand side of the site. But for now you can order them from the form below. [If you are a Slugger blogger you should email me first.] Event management for Slugger Awards – the big prizegiving night powered by Eventbrite Mick FealtyMick is … Read more

Slugger Awards tickets / Irish Election prediction competition

One of the features of the Slugger Awards night (places limited! Get your tickets now while they last!) is going to be a bit of audience participation – we’re going to see how close the wisdom of the crowd can get to predicting the final outcome of the Irish Election in terms of seats. Details of that will be released on the night (it’ll be a surprise) but in the meantime, we also want a prediction comp to run though … Read more

Big political breakfast: The Slugger Awards shortlist

Politicians, journalists and community organisations are going head-to-head to collect a gong at this year’s Slugger O’Toole Political Awards, with the final nominees for each category having been announced. The awards ceremony will take place in the Black Box in Belfast on 10th February which is being kindly sponsored by Channel Four. Three nominees for each of nine categories were chosen as an event attended by over 100 people following initial nominations that appeared here on the site. The next … Read more

Slugger Awards: Politician of the Year…

And the almost last category (I’m holding campaign of the year back so we have a bit more time to roll at this one), is Politician of the Year. Overall this is the most senior award, open to Northern Irish politicians at all levels of government, and assemblies. Past winners are Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness. There are reasons why either one of those might win, but I’d encourage people to look for the new, the unexpected. – Sammy Wilson … Read more

Slugger Awards: Constructive Opposition…

‘Constructive opposition’. Now there’s a term to conjure with.  Opposition of any kind is tough in Stormont, where most decisions are taken within cabinet at Executive level. But constructive opposition where politicians have pointed to flaws, whilst offering practical alternatives is crucial to the credibility of the institutions. So far we have: – Brian Wilson, for punching above his weight and avoiding populism. – The 2010 Group – John Dallat for the Public Accounts Committee work into NI Water. – … Read more

Slugger Awards: Creative engagement

Now, we head on to an award primarily aimed at public bodies. ‘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. Given the atrocious record of government consultation (Stephen Nolan’s making hay just now the no show of the draft budget. I’m on my way to the exit gate the airport, so you’ll have to start from scratch just now… Mick FealtyMick is founding … Read more

Slugger Awards: Political Journalist of the Year..

Okay, we’ve a bit of a backlog here to get moving on, so forgive the volume of awards related posts about to hit your screens… Next up is our top award for political journalism… Mentioned in dispatches so far are: – Alan in Belfast (Alan in Belfast) – Eamonn Mallie (Downtown Radio, the Mallie Files) – Suzanne Breen (Sunday Tribune) – Jamie Delargy  (UTV) – Martina Purdy (BBC) – Stephen Nolan (BBC) – Ken Reid (UTV) – Sam McBride (News … Read more

Coming for breakfast on Thursday?

Just a quick reminder; There are still tickets left for the Slugger / Stratagem big breakfast next Thursday at the Europa. We’re there to go over the nominations for the Slugger Awards including the Thinker & explainer / Investigative journalist / Challenging your own community threads that have been running over the last few days (the original nomination thread is here). There will be more of these over the coming days. (Update: A ‘building trust and credibility in politics‘ award thread has … Read more

Slugger Awards: Thinker and Explainer

Right, just to keep things rolling over the weekend, on this thread we’d like your nominations for the ‘Thinker and Explainer’ Award. This is aimed primarily at public bodies who adopt “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.” So far we have just two in this category. We really need to bump this number up before Thursday’s Big Political Breakfast, … Read more

Slugger Awards: Best investigative journalism…

This time next year we hope Trevor Birney’s The Detail website will be up and running, but for now most of the nominations we have so far are well deserved players in the more conventional mainstream media. Remember we’re building up a long list which will be shortlisted at the The Big Political Breakfast next week, so keep the suggestions coming along with your reasons. In this category we have just three (remember there is a separate political journalist of … Read more

Slugger Awards: Challenging your own community…

Okay, we are going to be shortlisting nominations for all the Awards categories at the Big Political Breakfast at the Europa next Thursday (there are still some few places left, but you’d need to book soon), so let’s give them something to bowl at… In this category, which started off as a media category is now well populated with politicians, we already have: – Dawn Purvis for her high profile resignation from the PUP… – Basil McCrea for his appearance … Read more

Slugger Awards: Nominations are now open…

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 … Read more

Slugger Awards: A wee cup of tea and a nice sit down?

I should have got this out a few days ago, but I’ve spent most of the last two days travelling away from Slugger Central. By Monday I want to have decided on the new categories for the Slugger Awards. To do that (and to brainstorm a few more in the public bodies’ section). We meet in the Lagan Room (in behind the bar) at on Friday Jurys Inn at 12.30 (although I’ll be there from 12). Free tea, coffee and … Read more

Slugger Awards: More new categories please?

Work on the new Slugger Awards has been in abeyance, partly because of an enormous workload over November.  For reference you can check out the post from when we first called for new categories last September. But we’re keen to get the new categories tied down quickly over the next week or so. To recap, we are asking you to tell us what qualities or aspects we should be rewarding in politicians, the media and public bodies. It’s your chance to … Read more