If you work with awards as a top desire in your life, I don't feel like you're working for the right reasons. A guy who won far greater accolades than any of us will likely ever achieve, Jesse Owens, once said, "Awards become corroded; friends gather no dust."
A fair assessment to say the least, but that being said, I am thrilled that my friends and colleagues were a part of earning 19 honors for KBTX in the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters annual awards. That nine of those 19 were First Place wins is even more remarkable. That Brazos Valley This Morning earned a pair of those First Place wins is humbling.
All the stations that cover Texas are divided into four divisions. Houston and Dallas are alone in Division 1. San Antonio and Austin reside in Division 2. After those major metro areas come the next biggest communities for Division 3. That includes us, Waco-Temple, El Paso, Weslaco, Harlingen, McAllen-Brownsville, Tyler-Longview, Jacksonville, Shreveport, Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Texarkana. There are great, hard-working journalists in those communities. I browse what they're doing fairly regularly. To win what we did against stations in those cities is remarkable and, again, humbling.
The internet, for all its value (and there's a ton of it), has also become a place for rampant, anonymous vitriol. Such is the case this time as with any story we post. I find it tedious to read our comments sometimes, and am thrilled to not have the responsibility to approve them anymore. Apparently for many, choosing to break something down makes them feel better than building something up. Criticism is apparently easier than praise.
So when I read on a local message board some guy or gal taking time out of their evening to question our "journalistic integrity" among other things, I have a nice little chuckle. First, we won for "journalistic excellence". Those who know me know I would never win an integrity competition ;-) Second, the thought of a low bar for journalistic standards if KBTX won 19 is asinine at best, ignorant at worst.
Can we please everyone? No. Do we strive to get things "right" every time? Yes. Will we? We're not perfect, so no. Are you? Call me if you are, because I'd like to do a story on your life.
So let's talk about positives on this world wide web:
And to our viewers and readers, congratulations as well. You live in an amazing corner of this country, one that I relish being a part of each and every day. There is no place like this place. I speak from a short lifetime's worth of travel, but for whatever it's worth, take my advice and feel lucky to be here. We don't have big city crime or corruption to report daily. I consider that a good thing. We have a largely caring and compassionate set of residents who are community-oriented and people-friendly. I consider that a great thing.
The aforementioned don't typically win awards, but my goodness, are we not winners as a result?