The nominations are out for the Midlands Media Awards and it’s great to see so many former students and colleagues up for the prizes.
But it was disappointing to see the ‘Blogger of the Year’ category looking strangely empty.
The official line on the website is: “There are no nominations in this category.”
How can that be? In a region packed with independent talent, producing wonderful sites and rich content?
Part of the problem appears to be in the label.
I’ve been asked why I didn’t put LichfieldLive forward this year. Much of it was to do with the categories. I don’t see myself as a blogger at all so why would I enter a category for this? Had there been a website or hyperlocal site of the year then perhaps I might have. Similarly, news website of the year wasn’t something I felt was aimed at sites like mine.
I’m not sure whether this ‘am I in or am I out?’ debate was being had by some of the other hyperlocals in the region, but it can’t have helped.
There’s also the question of whether the message is getting through to those one-man-band operations who perhaps aren’t even considering themselves as part of the media industry. Yes, the newspapers, radio stations and TV reporters will enter because they and their contemporaries know all about it. But will Joe Bloggs who writes a wickedly funny blog really go looking for awards?
From conversations with other people on the subject, there does seem to be a feeling that the awards are aimed at the full-time, professional journalists. If so then perhaps the title should be Midlands Journalism Awards, because if it is Midlands Media Awards then it should reflect the wider range of outlets that exist.
The only real category that might fit hyperlocals is the News Website of the Year gong, but why not simply go with Website of the Year? Why does it have to be news?
Hopefully, those behind the awards will take feedback from some of the sites that are out there who seem to be falling between the cracks of their categories and identify a better way to fully reflect the rich media landscape in the Midlands region next time around.
But in the meantime, good luck to everyone who did get nominated.SHARE