Saturday night, I got to participate in my first Arizona Press Club awards as editor of the Tucson Weekly at hipster Phoenix nightclub The Duce. While it would have been nice if some of the free food had made its way to our area (I blame the Arizona Republic ... they love their brisket sliders over there) and the novelty of midwestern beer in cans wore off quickly while paying $4 for each one, it was a fun evening. Some of my fellow Arizona journalists aren't exactly the most fun at parties, but I had some great conversations with people whose work I respect.
While the Weekly didn't exactly tear it up (partially because I don't know if I did a great job of entering our best stuff from 2012 since I was still new to the gig at that point; partially because these awards are generally arbitrary in nature anyhow), we did take home three awards (more on that in Media Watch this week, page 10). However, between our alt-weekly rag, the Sierra Vista Herald and the Nogales International, our company did great, especially the Herald which seemed to be winning everything while I acted as their obnoxious unasked-for cheerleader all night.
While I recognize that most people don't care about journalism awards other than, well, journalists, the Arizona Press Club event reminded me how lucky I am to work for this company. People seem to bring up Wick here and there (our former commenter "Red Star" seemed somewhat obsessed with our parent company, but now he's gone, so whatever) and with the recent news that the company's CEO, John Mathew, is resigning in a few months, there's a sudden burst of interest again. John's a great guy and I'm sure he'll be missed, but the company's going to be OK, I promise. Sure, someone from the Star was kind enough to suggest I quit along with Mathew (again, more in Media Watch), but every conversation I've had about the company in general and more specifically about the Weekly with anyone of any importance has been super positive. We're making big plans: plans to sponsor and run great events that make sense with what we do; plans to redesign the Weekly, keeping the content you expect from us, but presenting it in a more up-to-date way; plans to celebrate our 30th anniversary next year and position the paper for another 30 years.
Rumor is that one of our competitors has been going around selling ads based on the idea that we're going under. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm super excited for what we have in the works and I'm glad to be employed by a company doing great work in cities like Sierra Vista, Green Valley, Nogales and elsewhere. The Press Club awards were a nice reminder of that.