St. Petersburg Times Feature Writers Cleaning Up in Early Awards
Courtesy of the Blurbex and Gangrey blogs, I found out later today what my fellow staffers in features learned this morning (that's what happens when you come late to staff meetings): The Times is rumored to be a finalist for one of this year's Pulitzer Prizes.
As one of the biggest journalism awards around -- and one of the only awards the general public has even heard of -- the Pulitzers mean a lot to any newsorganization. They particularly mean a lot for us at the Times, because I think we consistently create the best paper in the nation that isn't regularly honored in that contest.
Our last win came back in 1998 for Tom French's Angels & Demons series, a powerful story about the search for a killer who murdered a mother and her two daughters while they were vacationing here in Clearwater. If the scuttlebutt is true, then Chris Goffard's $40 Lawyer story is up this year in feature writing.
Our feature writers have had some sigificant success this year contest-wise, with my pal Lane DeGregory winning the $10,000 Ernie Pyle human interest writing award from Scripps Howard's National Journalism Awards for a collection of her work. Lane also placed second in the National Headliner Awards for the third time in a row.
I know some folks like to criticize journalism awards. But for a newspaper like the Times, which is doing national-quality work but doesn't have a national profile, such awards are a great way to spread word about the quality stuff filling our paper every day (see the subject of Chris' piece, public defender Charley Demosthenous, at right).
The only thing that really bums me out, is that Chris doesn't work with us anymore -- having decamped to Los Angeles a while ago. Have a glass of bubbly for us, dude...