Sunday, July 10, 2005

It’s an Honor Just to be Nominated

When I first proposed the “Rock Solid in the Blogosphere” awards, I never dared dream that I would be nominated, let alone be nominated by the likes of Chad the Elder. A cynic might say that my nomination was an attempt by Chad to water down the field to grease the skids for his co-blogger, Atomizer. Or some may suggest that he was attempting to hijack our “OC”, “Antonia Bernath”, and “fake breasts” google hits. But anyone who knows Chad knows that he is incapable of such Karl Rove-ian behavior.

In addition to myself and Atomizer, Kevin Ecker has been nominated by Martin Andrade; he will be a very formidable candidate. JB Doubtless has been anonymously nominated (but I suspect a prank). Nominations remain open.

If you haven’t nominated a worthy blogger because you are unsure of how a nominating statement should look, use this example from the Pioneer Press’ “Rock Solid” awards as a template:

Sex, sex, sex. It’s not easy writing about sex offenders, abortion or gay marriage, especially since these divisive social issues elicit strong visceral responses from readers and those with a dog in the fight. But Rachel Stassen-Berger covers these issues with scrupulous fairness, and she always treats some not-so-friendly folks with the utmost respect.

Her balanced, insightful reporting makes her a credit to our newsroom and industry at a time when our credibility is under attack. Plus, she’s always willing to help other reporters, she’s diligent and really knows her stuff.

I nominated Rachel for Rock Solid over news hero because she’s consistently produced good work in the six years she’s been here. I became particularly impressed with her when she helped bring down Rich Stanek, the state’s top law enforcement chief who had a history of using racial slurs in regard to black folks. During my recent stint at the capitol, I was impressed with the way she dealt with advocates on both sides of the hot-button abortion issue. She’s very patient. I, on the other hand, let’s just say I’m not.

Pat Sweeney adds: “More than most of us, Rachel feels, and demonstrates in her copy, the necessity of being scrupulously fair about reporting how advocates argue their positions. She allows them to feel that they have been heard and had a chance to make their cases, and she does it without allowing either side to control what she writes. It’s very difficult to cover abortion — the hottest of the hot-button issues — and her coverage gives the Pioneer Press credibility with both sides.”


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