Awards: “Pretty damn nice”

When I worked for a newspaper, the annual meeting of the N.C. Press Association was one of my favorite days of the year because that meant we could announce the journalism prizes we won.

And I can congratulate my friends at the News & RecordThe Charlotte Observer, the News & Observer & Durham Herald, and all the others who took home winning certificates.

Despite what so many media watchers think, I know few journalists who do what they do to win prizes. You don’t work erratic schedules; get paid much less than your friends in other industries; live in fear of layoffs; miss meals with your partner and kids; and listen to idiots call you “fake news” so that you can win a prize. (Most of them don’t come with money.)

You do it to serve your community and to serve the tenets of democracy. And yes, community recognition and respect trump awards every day. Some of the paper’s link to their winning entries — yay, News & Record! — and you should read some of them. (In my time, I certainly wanted to win them, but the paper never won as many as the N&R won this year.) Impressive work across the board.

While you’re at it, subscribe to a paper.

Early on in my career, an editor said to me, “We don’t do this to win prizes, but being recognized by our peers for outstanding work is pretty damn nice.”

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