We Are Cardiff named best blog at Wales Blog Awards

September 21, 2012 No Comments »

We Are Cardiff has been named the Best Blog in Wales at this year’s Wales Blog Awards.

The blog, which tells the stories of people living in the capital, took home the top prize after winning a public vote.

Set up three years ago in response to the negative coverage Cardiff was receiving in the national press, WAC has grown into one of the city’s must-read blogs.

It not only chronicles Cardiff residents’ love for their city, but also has beautiful photographs of those residents taken in city locations, organises exhibitions, and over the last year has begun making a documentary film about Cardiff, which it is hoped will be completed next spring.

Other Cardiff blogs were also recognised at the award ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on North Road last night.

They included Jon Poutney’s photography blog Cardiff Before Cardiff which took away the Best Multimedia gong. Best Food and Drink blog was won by Cardiff food review blog Gourmet Gorro and best lifestyle by Cardiff blogger Daisy Dayz.

The awards are organised by Cardiff-based Warwick Emmanuel PR, and were judged by former best blog winner Ruth Davies, WalesOnline’s Lorna Doran, yourCardiff’s Jessica Best, author Ifan Morgan Jones and Warwick Emmanuel’s head of digital media Katie Chappelle. The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Blog (people’s choice) – We Are Cardiff
Best Community Blog – Cwmbran Life
Best Sports blog – Forza Swansea
Best Entertainment and Music Blog – Motown Junkies
Best Writing on a Blog – Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night
Best Lifestyle Blog – Daisy Dayz
Best Multimedia Blog – Cardiff Before Cardiff
Best New Blog – Our IVF Journey: All the fun of living life with Twins
Best Political Blog – Oggy Bloggy Ogwr
Best Technology Blog – Hacio’r Iaith
Best Food and Drink Blog – Gourmet Gorro

Helia Phoenix, one of the authors and founders of We Are Cardiff, told us what winning the Best Blog award meant to her…

“Say what you will about awards ceremonies, but it’s a very gratifying thing to win an award that’s been voted for by the public, especially after having put so much hard work into We Are Cardiff for over three years.

Nearly every judge made mention of the fact that the standard of blogs was particularly high this year, but I’ve been impressed with the longlist every year since the awards started. Here in Wales we’re suffering from contracting regional and local media, and a national British media that has never paid much attention to us anyway (and certainly isn’t now).

I think it’s great that local people can write local news or local interest content (without wishing to sound too Royston Vasey about it) and self-publish to niche communities.

The only problem is that blogging as a hobby takes up a lot of time and energy, and without financial backing to keep them alive, blogs can appear and disappear far too quickly. Hopefully someone will work out a way for blogs to function as small businesses without compromising content or making the experience annoying for readers.

I’m absolutely chuffed to bits that we won the People’s Choice Award – and I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the blog in any way since its conception: writing stories, taking pictures, helping us out at events or exhibitions, commenting and sharing the stories that we post, or voting in the awards.

The mission that I set out with setting up the blog still stands: I was sick of reading stories in the national news about Cardiff that had been written by journalists who were based in London and using Flickr images of Cardiff at the weekend, that were taken over five years ago as if they were happening right now.

I wanted to share real stories of Cardiff – real experiences of people who live here. Not everything that’s posted on the blog is glowingly positive either – there’s plenty of negative opinions shared on there too, be they about the way Cardiff has been redeveloped over the years, or about the cultural scene here.

The point was to encourage authentic voices and share them with the world, and we’ll feature anyone on the site – so if you’d like to take part or know someone who you think would tell a great story, please get in touch with us on wearecardiff@gmail.com.

We’re currently making a documentary film based on the web project which we hope to have finished by March 2013. We’re looking for investors and people to donate to the costs of making the film – so please visit We Are Cardiff for more details!”

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