Saturday, May 03, 2008
So, I didn't get first place.
Or second place.
You're looking at the winner of two third place finishes here.
In other words, I'm a second place loser.
But it's cool.
We had a great time. The swordfish was banging. My plus one and I coordinated nicely (black and gold, please). And my newspaper racked up the awards. So we rejoice with those who rejoice.
It was crazy because I told you we're the paper of record here, right? So, beginning of the night, the MC starts talking about the contest. Says something about how proud he was that a lot of the little papers had a good showing in the contest this year. Then he says, "and the bigger outfits, not that they don't deserve to be here too, because there's some great journalism there as well, they did okay too."
I cocked my head to the side. I did. Was he trying to do a backhanded dig at my employer? See, my paper is at a handicap in these awards. Anything that originates from the main sheet staff is not eligible. That means no page designs and no photographs from us can be submitted. And each of our bureaus is treated as a seperate paper. So, essentially, we're all competing against one another.
Good and bad, I suppose. I think that sometimes, just to keep us in line, they limit the number of stories they'll let us be finalists in. The cool thing is I think that in just about every category we were nominated for, we won a first place finish.
In the spot news contest, I was competing against another Journal reporter who wrote about a fatal crash, and a local paper, who also wrote about a fatal crash. Mine, as you recall, was a trial verdict. I think the subject matter hindered me a little bit. Trial coverage can't compete with a fatality. Or maybe I'm just making excuses. In the comments section, the judges wrote about my story "nice detail, gave good sense of emotion."
In the in-depth feature category, I honestly don't know who I was up against. I know I got third place and the judges wrote of my shoe cobbler story "reminds us that technology isn't everything." I don't know why, the comment kind of got under my skin. It just did.
But we won first place for personality/profile, sport feature, news series, most unusual story, environmental reporting, spot news, and I think that's it. Basically, everyone except me won a first place finish (a couple reporters were nominated for two awards).
You'd never know it though, after the ceremony. There were hugs and huge smiles all around. It was actually really cool. It was almost like we were all a team and when one of us wins, we all win together.
That was the best part.continue...