By Polly Keary, Editor
One day a year, I used to envy the Issaquah Press.
Each year at the annual Better Newspaper Contest banquet, I’d wind up sitting sedately with one or two people from my small company, and the Issaquah Press table would be right nearby and deafening.
This year, for the first time, we held our own. The tables are always covered with New Year’s Eve-style noisemakers, and the Issaquah people made the most of them, party horns squalling each time one of their staff members won an award.
Whereas in years past I often found myself attending those things alone or in the company of a handful of coworkers, Friday, RIM Publications had not one, but two full tables of staff members who cheered each other on when one of our names showed up on the screen at the front of the room.
We did a fair amount of cheering.
My name popped up a few times; three first place awards (education, crime and courts, and lifestyle features) and two second place awards (personality profile, business news), as well as runner-up for Feature Writer of the Year.
Our graphic designer Angela Nickerson got a toe in; submitting just a couple of her layouts for awards this year and winning a third place award in front page design.
Our colleagues at our sister papers did well, too.
Stephen Miller of the Capitol Hill Times grabbed a first place award for environmental reporting, and Michael Sarko won that paper a third place in personality profiles. Chasen Grodon took home a third place in humorous column writing, and the whole crew bagged a first place for a special section they did.
The Eatonville Dispatch got a first place in editorial cartoons (and wouldn’t I ever love to have an editorial cartoonist; anyone who knows such a person is encouraged to recruit that person for the Monitor). They also took home a first in portrait photography, a second in special sections, and RIM’s most prestigious award of the evening, third place for General Excellence in their category.
I’m really glad the company decided to bring down the whole crew this year. It’s great for any group to get together and celebrate each other’s successes and get motivated to work together to excel. We all walked away with new ideas and a bit more drive.
And I truly believe that honking on horns and waving clackers madly as a group is a fine bonding experience.
The Issaquah Press still got more awards; they are a great paper with a lot of help.
But for once, we were just as noisy!