Our Viewpoint: A generally excellent 2nd anniversary

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Journalists in general – and especially journalists in relatively small, local markets like Portland – aren’t in it for fame and fortune. They do what they do because they are curious, they want to tell compelling stories, and they want to serve their communities.

And although they work hard to try and make a difference in society, they are often targets of those who are enemies of truth.

Jan. 20, 2021, cover illustration
Rebecca Reinhart’s award-winning illustration for the Jan. 20, 2021, edition of the Portland Phoenix.

So they aren’t always acknowledged for the good work that they do, and they appreciate the recognition that can come from their peers. 

Last Saturday evening, the Maine Press Association did that. The group that represents nearly 50 newspapers and news websites in the state held its annual meeting and announced the results of the 2021 Better Newspaper Contest.

The Phoenix received the first-place award for General Excellence among our peer group of large-circulation print weeklies. The contest was judged by reporters from the South Dakota Newspaper Association, who praised our design and appearance, and called our writing “superb.”

We’re also proud to say members of the Phoenix team earned several individual awards. Staffers Colin Ellis and Natalie Ladd received writing awards, and Suzanne Piecuch and Ladd were honored for advertising promotion; contributors Douglas Rooks, Megan Grumbling, and Shannon Bryan received writing awards, and Rebecca Reinhart was honored for her Jan. 20, 2021, cover illustration.

The awards presentation was streamed at a particularly special time for us, too. This week is the second anniversary of the reborn Portland Phoenix. To have the judges confirm something we’ve believed all along – that our small group of dedicated local journalists is doing an outstanding job – only made it more special.

We are thrilled, honored, and humbled, and we promise to continue to be curious, to tell compelling stories, to be of service to our community, and to strive for excellence.

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