A VERY CLOSE FINISH in this poll, both positive answers. Of 43 total votes, 11 said “Absolutely! They let us know how well we’re doing.” There were 10 votes for “Yes. They help build newsroom morale when we win.” Together, those two categories totaled 49% of the votes.
The most negative response, “Not worth a flip. We hardly ever enter” received only 4 votes.
Interesting “other” responses were:
“I think it’s a great way for made-up institutions to create revenue for themselves.’
“Yes, but they’re a pain in the butt.”
“We appreciate feedback.”
“Not worth a flip, but management makes us enter anyway.”
“We rarely win anymore. When we do, it doesn’t boost company morale.”
So, despite the negatives, it’s safe to say the sentiment is pretty much for keeping those contests going.
IN RECENT WEEKS, two of my clients received strong recognition for their efforts. The Western Catholic Reporter was named best-designed by the Canadian Church Press. And the Hood County News in Granbury, TX, won General Excellence and Best Page Design from the Texas Press Assn. Both are good newspapers and their design makes me look good, too.
But I know there’s always some question about awards and contests and how they’re run and who the judges are and categories and the like. I’ve judged quite a few contests myself and I understand the difficulties involved in the process.
Nevertheless, I know there are quite a few journalists out there who think that contests are a waste of time, effort and money. Even though they may have won their share of awards, they don’t place much stock in contests.
What are your thoughts? Are contests good for the industry? Do they help your newspaper? Do they make you a better journalist?