Sunday, July 12, 2009

Celebrating journalism in the Sunshine State

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."
— Steve Martin

"Information is the currency of democracy."
— probably Ralph Nader, though Thomas Jefferson often gets the credit.

Those are the quotes that Diane Roberts, an author and St. Pete Times columnist, used to frame her comments as keynote at the Florida Society of News Editors' awards luncheon Friday.

A healthy number of journalists turned out in West Palm Beach to celebrate the best efforts during a tough economic year. The crowd was a bit smaller than in years past, but there was a more determined sense to continue the purpose stated in FSNE's bylaws: to advance the cause of responsible journalism.

The Bradenton Herald had a diverse selection of our journalists honored, including First Place for the Staff in Daily Deadline, Division C, for our coverage of the fiery tanker crash that shut down Interstate 75 a year ago.

Judges wrote:
“Specific, graphic details of a horrific crash, almost minute-by-minute. It puts the reader on the scene. The witnesses’ tales, broken out as individuals, were a great touch.”

Other Herald winners included Brent Conklin for Page One Design, including this cover from the I-75 crash.

This online slideshow, "MMA Comes of Age in Florida" by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie.

Roger Mooney for his columns on Rays baseball.

And last year's blog Taking Stock by Brian Neill.

Their hard work deserves this recognition and more. Here, here!

-- Joan

(A footnote to a few anonymous critics who questioned my convention expenses in tight budget times: Not a company dime was spent. It was my treat.)

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