In the newspaper business, sometimes you have to toot your own horn.
Many of us weren’t brought up to do that, but when your almost year-old newspaper wins several awards from the Maine Press Association, we think it’s best to let people know about it. The awards were announced last Saturday at the annual meeting of the Maine Press Association, held virtually this year. We were thrilled to win five awards, in very diverse categories, in this first year.
The awards ranged from our columnists (in two categories) to investigative reporting, and court reporting. And although, as we said, self-promotion is new for us, the first-place award we won was for advertising self-promotion, with ads produced for the Portland Ovations Playbill by Natalie Ladd.
The Phoenix also won several awards in writing categories. Veteran journalist and Maine Statehouse reporter Doug Rooks won second place for a report on the plans to rethink and potentially shut down the Long Creek Youth Development Center. Jordan Bailey won third place for her investigative report “Prison or Profit Center,” which detailed the questionable practices of corrections authorities in dealing with money in prisoners’ accounts.
And since we are very proud of our opinion pages and the array of columnists in our paper, we were pleased that Andrew Marsters, a veteran editor and journalism teacher, won third place for his “A View from the Hill” opinion column, while Natalie Ladd took third place for the distinctive lifestyle observations of her “Leftovers” column.
The recognition from peers means a lot. But self-promotion should have strict limits, and laurels are not a good place to rest. As we enter our second year, we want to build on what we’ve started, and find ways to do better. We will continue to improve our coverage of local news and arts, and important in-depth statewide investigations. This first year has been in almost equal parts rewarding and challenging. We hope you’ll stay with us as we move forward.