26 Oct 2010

Psst! Young blogging talent about!

It has been said that blogging, particularly about current events is a largely male activity, certainly that is the evidence of our own discourse on Snowblog – although I’m not turning a blind eye to our significant but smaller cohort of women who join our discussions.

Bloggers tend to be older too. I won’t pass judgement on the age profile of our regulars but I sense that a number of the most assiduous, like me, lack “spring chicken-ness”.

Channel 4 News has been looking for the Young Blogger of 2010. I had the delightful task of chairing the panel that had to decide on the myriad entries. In addition to our own Channel 4 web team, I was joined by BBC Radio 5 DJ and avid tweeter Richard Bacon, and the master blogger Iain Dale (he of Iain Dale’s Diary).
The unanimous winner was not hard to find.

Not only is she NOT male, she IS young. She is 17, still at school, a comprehensive in Essex, and is doing her AS levels. She was in at the end of Channel 4 News last night, so you can go and meet her right here on the website.

Louise Jones has her own blogsite and it’s a raw, immediate, teenager’s take on the world she sees. She doesn’t like the way her generation is stereotyped, nor does she pretend to take some bog standard “mature” view of world events. She blogs as she is.

She’ll be posting the first of her week long series of young blogs today. I hope that even when that is over she’ll come visit Snowblog and share our discourse.

Good luck Louise!

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

40 reader comments

  1. adrian clarke says:

    OK Jon , i’m a young 66 who still thinks he is a boy racer.
    I think the young deserve a voice for they are our future where we are their past.I have noticed of late that many celebrities, officials,news/weather readers appear to be getting younger.Though ,as they appear to me, still wet behind the ears,they are now our rulers.
    Maybe we can guide them a little but by and large let them have their heads.Soon it will be their world and though i disaprove of their humour and behaviour on occassions,we have had our chance.
    Secretly i still believe Saltaire and i can form a coalition to save this country

    1. margaret brandreth-jones says:

      Boy racer!? You knew ‘Peggy Sue.’

  2. Saltaire Sam says:

    Wot! Adrian and I didn’t win! Shame on you. Didn’t you know the 60s are the new teens, and I could always wear a frock when I blog if that would make a difference :-) [Adrian may already do so, for all I know – the right does have a history of hidden surprises]

    Well done, Louise. Give ’em hell. It’s your world that my generation has screwed up and are now screwing up more in your name.

    You and your contemporaries should be making it clear what kind of world you want to inherit rather than rely on Cameron, Clegg or even Miliband’s version

  3. paulo10ferreira says:

    i don’t understand i have a blog on myspace about politics. i don’t even have age to use myspace i’m 11 but still. probably in 5 years i could be the winner. i wanna be a political journalist.

    1. anniexf says:

      Hang in there Paulo10ferreira, your time will come – but watch those politicos, they’re dangerous friends and ruthless enemies!

  4. Moonbeach says:

    I saw your interview. How refreshing to see a young lady who can communicate. (oops. I hope that is not a stereotypical comment.)

    With regard to “spring chicken-ness”, Jon, I must take issue. Although no longer in the first flush of youth, my wife seems confused. Otherwise, why would she constantly be asking, as I sail my flotilla in the bath; “How old are you?”

    Sorry, must get down to the Gym!

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Moonbeach, how can I take my afternoon nap now with an image of someone I considered a serious political figure sitting in the bath, surrounded by frigates flying union flags.

      Watch out Trident doesn’t run aground :-)

    2. Kate says:

      “How refreshing to see a young lady who can communicate”

      What a Neanderthal comment -shame on you Moonbeach!
      My sons, thankfully well past the grunting of their nigh on monosyllabic teen years remain less articulate than their (younger) girlfriends.
      I think I’ll get on my high horse now and make the claim that the female of the species matures and is independent long before the male.It’s women wot keep the world turning! ;)

      Yes – WELL DONE,LOUISE!
      You have your work cut out!

    3. adrian clarke says:

      Kate,how can you say that women mature and are independent sooner than the male.
      When i grow up i will contest that remark.I always thought the earth was flat !!!!

    4. Meg Howarth says:

      Well-said, Kate, on all counts.

      Jon: thanks for recognising that we females do exist and contribute to Snowblog when we can. May I take this opportunity to encourage fellow-bloggers to sign up to Twitter to that blog comments can reach a wider audience, eg yesterday’s posting/comments on the HoL expenses’ disgrace. Publicity can make a difference.

    5. Saltaire Sam says:

      Kate, you are of course right. One of the things that experience has taught me is that while women share manhy of the faults and foibles of men, they tend to be able to control them better and are usually willing to see both sides of an argument.

      The sooner we only have a handful of men in parliament a majority of women, the better, as long as they are women and not females trying to be blokes like Mrs T.

    6. adrian clarke says:

      You have to spoil it Saltaire,by attacking the greatest post war prime minister we have had.She did more to save this country from the Unions,than any one has come near to.
      I know a female was watching you type.
      I read all my blogs to my partner, having first said”this will get them going” :)

    7. Moonbeach says:

      Kate,

      Please forgive my slackness; you misunderstood my intention.

      I had meant the comment to be congratulatory to Louise. Too often our media seems to glory in saying that our ‘yoof’ is ‘nth’ in the world in the 3 Rs!

      It was not a sexist observation. Perhaps, more correctly, I should have written ‘young person’! But I loathe PC, don’t you?

      Regarding maturity, it would not be the first time that a female had ‘bombed’ me in the bath or swimming pool and sunk the Fleet!!! Childish or what?

      And Sam, I have just ‘run the gauntlet’ of the French General Strike so it was the French Fleet that went to the bottom! Xenophobia is alive and well in my neck of the woods at the moment.

  5. Citizen Smith says:

    Louise is not typical, as i said yesterday most teenagers dont take any interest in what’s going on in the world as they live in their own world/sub culture (XBOX, social networks, IPOD, soaps etc).

    We need to market Louise Jones and Louise needs to market herself. We elders need to do a better job of making our kids more politically aware of what is going on…particularly now with Cameron/Clegg experimenting with society which if not checked will leave us with many things that cant be undone.

    Good luck to Louise.

    1. Gerry says:

      Oh I do hope that Louise is never marketed. That would destroy what is wonderful and unique and original about her. And as for C/C ‘experimenting’ with society – well the only alternative to experimenting is perpetual groundhog days – and surely no-one would want those B/B days groundhogged?

  6. Gerry says:

    Have just read some of Louise’s blog. Being a cynical old git of 57, I didn’t expect to like it, but I think it’s great! What’s more, the spelling and use of apostrophes is spot on, which was a big surprise to me. I can’t understand why so many bloggers go public with such crap spelling and grammar, But that’s me being an old git, I suppose.

    1. Citizen Smith says:

      Old – no… git – maybe

  7. Britt_W says:

    Having read Louise’s blog post on 9/11, I must say you made a very good choice – well done to the panel! Very well written – I’m pretty sure she will end up writing books in the near future.

    I get quite angry when I hear people complaining of ‘the young of today’ as if they were all the same. They’re not.
    Besides, whatever they are, they are a product of the society, the world we live in and the adults that are around them. In some cases, it would be more appropriate to say the adults that are not around them, I guess.
    Having worked amongst revolting, acne suffering teenagers for many years, as a teacher – I must say young people have so much to give, if you just… listen to them. Scratch that hostile surface and the most amazing things will emerge.

    Oh and – as I’m probably more of an old speckled hen than a spring chicken… Let me know when you’re doing an “Old Blogger Competition”, will you? Thanks.

    1. margaret brandreth-jones says:

      I think that comment is out of order Brit… “revolting , acne suffering teenagers .” Some of these young adults are having their lives shaped for victimisation for skin disorders which they have little control over. The effect of putting the ‘revolting’ together in the same sentence as ‘acne suffering’ in a disparaging way paints a picture of the teenagers, which could hurt them
      deeply for many years.

  8. Mudplugger says:

    What a charming, intelligent and articulate young lady – I never really believed all they said about Essex !
    Young folk know it all – well we certainly did – but that’s just a function of growing up and finding your place. We all nuance our views over time with experience, but the impermiable freshness of the youthful perspective deserves to be heard and respected, even by we crotchety old-timers.
    As others have said, her generation will inherit wharever we leave and it is refreshing to see that at least some of them are prepared to participate with enthusiasm.
    I wish Louise every success and hope that she will continue to be herself and let her readers see who she really is, and who she becomes, through her bloggings.

  9. phil dicks says:

    Aye, reckon, appen-as-not, t’young slip-of-a-thing may ave made us regular t’bloggers appen-as-not redundant. ‘Tis the way of t’things, ah reckon.
    Bah goom, ah remember when…

    1. Saltaire Sam says:

      Phil, you are revealed. What are you doing now that you no longer have to write Last of the Summer Wine?

    2. Kate says:

      ” What are you doing now that you no longer have to write Last of the Summer Wine”

      Sounds like he’s drinking it! ;)

    3. phil dicks says:

      Master Sam and Miss Kate: Wine? Naht so pretentious. It’s Ole Frothblower’s Pantsmangler round these parts.

  10. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

    Louise, a topic for you

    Title : “Generation-$’s, clean up your own mess (I have enough debt of my own thanks).”

  11. margaret brandreth-jones says:

    Well done Louise.. of course it’s keeping up with us Jones’. No sorry, that’s a little tongue in cheek.

    The blog was indeed fresh and we had the writer internal in relation to external events over a period of time , with feelings immediate and reflective thoughts.

    The descriptive element was not over the top and there was little if any exaggeration of content, yet, it had impact.

    I don’t see blogging as a competitive pass – time, but if Louise is using the writing form to practice journalism , then this is surely a good base line for her.

    A note to all you old bloggers. Age is relative and I am stuck in the 1960’s. You know the cycle of doing things again and again and how folks wont let us progress.; well that’s fine by me .

    I may be Miss M Pan , but my skin is developing these strange wrinkles. I need to see a doctor to evaluate the reason why my body doesn’t tally with professional attitudes of progress.

    Maturity in the written word is not similar to the art of being articulate. As this talented young lady begins to develop her spoken word adding words and extra dimensions of experience to her blogging she will be a ‘ cracking writer.’

  12. Philip Edwards says:

    Jon, If they get as much courage as you did at Liverpool Uni and when you told MI5 to do one……the young will be okay.

    Have faith. In the long run they will wake up and fight back. I just hope you never forget the establishment lies that caused YOU to become outraged in your youth.

    Long live justified outrage and anger. No compromise.

  13. Colin R says:

    Judging by the comments here I think this is just what the blog needs

    I am delighted that you won Louise- absolutely delighted. I for one will be looking forward to seeing how things go for you.Keep those C4 news people on their toes please!

  14. Talent says:

    I’ve just read some rubbish in the Astute article about having to half dismantle a submarine to get torpedoes into it. Can you get Large to enlarge on this or is it bad reporting??
    I was in nuclear and diesel boats for 17 years and was an ‘Outside Wrecker’…. nuff said!

  15. IFA Bristol says:

    Excellent to see social media and blogging is not just for the older generation. Prehaps blogging is not yet dead. Facebook – watchout!

  16. anniexf says:

    “… women who join OUR discussions”, Jon? Like it’s essentially for blokes but if women appear they’ll be tolerated?
    I don’t suppose you meant to write it like that but it’s very revealing!
    Yes, let’s all congratulate Louise but can we please be careful not to patronise her? I mean, a GIRL? Who can WRITE? Blimey, are we in the 21st. century or something?

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Annie it is a surprise with the state of our education system

    2. Mudplugger says:

      Anniexf. I’m sure Jon will be ‘refocused’ when he gets home tonight !
      Perhaps there is a benefit in writing under a pseudonym which is not gender-specific ? True, we don’t really know that Saltaire Sam is not really Samantha or just what Adrian Clarke’s androgynous forename disguises. Indeed ‘anniexf’ may be a macho tattooed truck-driver with halitosis, but I prefer to think not.
      That’s surely one of the delights of blogging – the voluntary anonymity providing the opportunity to be who really you want to be, rather than the public person your conventions and development have produced.
      But behind all that, do we really care what gender we are here ? I read all blog comments as coming from fellow humans and evaluate them thus – it is no matter how their various genitalia lies, I’m far more interested in their opinions.
      The fact that Louise is a young lady is unimportant – that she has something interesting to say, and from a perspective some of us left many decades ago, adds even more value.
      Whatever gender I am, I cannot treat another gender unequally (although I’ll admit Sam’s image of Adrian blogging in a frock may be challenging that a little).
      Keep on trucking…

    3. phil dicks says:

      Annie: don’t take it personally. Women are lovely, they really are. It’s just thay if you put a pen in their hand (you’re the exception, btw), they tend to do me-journalism and nothing-but.
      What’s the net-effect of 10,000 yrs of women’s lit? “Who do I choose: the means-well-but-rich-bore, or the exciting-but-poor-bloke?” That’s it.

      Apart from the bird who wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’ – Catherine has it both ways; lives off Edgar’s cash&connections, but as soon as she’s dead she runs off with Heathcliffe’s ghost.
      (Annie – if this gets past the Mods, I’ll eat my
      ‘Female Eunuch’).

    4. phil dicks says:

      I said something, and I wondered if it would get past the Moderators, and then I had a Dazzling Insight: “Don’t worry, C4’s liberal. Or are they forgetful?”

      Is liberalism synonymous with forgetfulness? Is that the essence of liberalism? Not the stuff you do, or allow, but the stuff you choose to forget?

      Did liberalism emancipate, or did it just forget to restrict? Is this forgetting conscious? A carte-blanche. The more you think about some of the words in this genius/ancient/modern language, the more you wonder what the base-words really mean. To forget – sometimes that’s the opposite of happenstance – it’s strategy.

    5. Saltaire Sam says:

      Phil
      Can you send me a note to let me know Annie realised your lit crit of women writers was tongue in cheek so that I can come out from behind the sofa? I don’t want to become collateral damage in her shock and awe.

      As is the way of men of a certain age, I awoke three or four times during the night, and as is my habit turned on the World Service to pass the time. My desire for women to rule the world took something of a hit with a report on the Tea Party which appears to specialise in rather strident and paranoid women with some of the dottiest ideas I have yet heard.

      Then there’s Theresa May…

      Perhaps what I mean is that I want the kind of women I know and have known (plus Snowbloggers, of course) to rule the world.

    6. anniexf says:

      OK guys, relax – rant over. Till the next time … Just don’t imagine any of us “lovely” women (Phil, REALLY!) here will let you get away with anything.

    7. phil dicks says:

      Sam and Annie: it was just late-night toungue-in-cheek nonsense. And,yes, none of the women here are to be taken lightly. No sirree!

  17. margaret brandreth-jones says:

    Mudplugger, I think you are wrong on this one. Hopefully Louise, not being in the same position as myself, thereby being able to progress as she gathers more experience and accumen, will appeal to a wider audience. The charge that ‘young lady’ is not significant is therefore misplaced as time is on her side.

    Communication is not just about making a point but rather an art form; it is how we express ourselves in an appealing form.

    I can for instance listen to a piece of writing by Chopin and appreciate it for its colour , tenderness, empathy, passion and understanding and feel that, yes, this is spot on. He expresses in an art form , a living art form, however those same notes ,emphasis , timing and general dynamic variation can be altered by the ‘clumsy.’

    Writing is similar. It is not simply what is said , but how.

    Gender is not merely a case of external genitalia. Hormonal levels which develop those secondary sexual characteristics have a direct bearing on how our femininity / masculinity/ ?androgeny develops and thus enables us to write with a physiological basis.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Margaret,i have just realised my major mistake in blogging or writing.I never realised i had to be appealing.I thought it was repelling!!!!
      I just write from the heart and say what i believe.I seek to please no one, just to be contoversial,and provoke a reaction from my fellow bloggers.That is why i miss the thumbs ,for it is a tool to agree/disagree with others without having to write it all down.
      I am even disallusioned with Jon of late, because he seems to be losing his trademark bias.Perhaps he is a secret fan of the coalition

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