Media & PR

Under-rated political blogs: David Ottewell

As we approach the political blog awards season, with most notably the Total Politics blog awards but also the Liberal Democrat blog of the year awards, there is often criticism from some that the same old (Tory) faces dominate lists of “top” blogs.

The Liberal Democrat blog of the year awards (which came from an idea I originally had and which I’ve helped run in previous years)┬ádeliberately attempt to deal with this by:

  1. being LibDem (though there is one category for non-LibDems), and
  2. adding the previous year’s blog of the year winner to the judging panel, so forcing a new winner each time in at least that category.

Part of the issue is about how much importance do you attach to the traffic level that a blog attracts, but I think there is also merit in the argument that there are good blogs out there which don’t get much attention, particularly those which are aimed at a particular geographic area (and that isn’t London).

So here’s my top under-rated blog: David Ottewell’s Manchester Evening News blog [now defunct]. As the name hints, it’s not about London. It is about news.

Mixing Manchester with national news, it’s a good political read even if you’ve got no particular interest in Manchester itself but also it’s a great example of how a blog can add to the political coverage of an area.

I think it’s that local coverage where there is often the biggest opportunity for political blogs. After all, we’re hardly short of national political opinion and commentary in the national media but local political news is often very thin on the ground in either national or local media. Blogging and politics would be all the better if there were more blogs like David Ottewell’s.

5 responses to “Under-rated political blogs: David Ottewell”

  1. Thanks, Mark. That’s really very kind.

    I think the problem with the ‘mainstream’ media in general, and particularly the regional press, is that they still don’t really believe in blogs as something that can add value. That’s mainly because they compare blog traffic to newspaper circulation figures. A lot of blogs get started, but tend to fade away. Unless you are committed to a blog, though, it’s not going to be very good.

    I tend to think less about total traffic (compared to, e.g., the number of people who read what I write for the paper), and more about the added value of what I’m doing for the people who _do_ read the blog.

    Anyway, thanks again.


  2. A good choice. Mr Ottewell has been on my blogroll for the past 18 months, but it’s good to see him getting some wider recognition.

    In a similar vein I would also nominate another regional press political blog from the North-West, David Higgerson’s Outside the Bubble.

  3. Pleasure David, and good point about how a blog can be a success if it’s providing good content for a relevant audience even if that audience isn’t that large.

    Paul – thanks for that, looks a good blog and is one I’d not come across before.

  4. I’ve written a top 5 list of most under rated UK political blogs on my website. Good to see I’m not the only one working to get people the recognition they deserve. I’d be interested to hear what you think of the list

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