Every time we win an award, I write the same thing in this space: it's not smart to put too much stock in these things (after all, they let me vote in the Washington Newspaper Awards), but they're nice to win. However, I think when you win a bunch of them or a really important one, that's more noteworthy and at this weekend's Arizona Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Awards, Jim Nintzel won the organization's highest honor (Journalist of the Year in the non-daily category) and Mari Herreras won a bunch of stuff. The entire list of what we won is on The Range, if you're interested, and while I'm super psyched to have won the General Excellence award in our category and mystified to have won Editorial Page Excellence for this column, I have to take a moment to congratulate Jim and Mari, which it seems I've been doing a lot lately.
Jim's Journalist of the Year award is well-deserved, if only because it really upsets Supervisor Ally Miller (she took to Facebook to complain about truth or something; if you have any corrections or clarifications to submit, Ms. Miller, email me ... I'm pretty sure you have the address) who was prominently featured in the coverage he won for. Mari was the first and third place winner in our Best News Story sweep (Todd Miller won second for his cover story "Border Patrolled Youth") and also added two second place finishes in Investigative Reporting and Best News Feature (shared with Chelo Grubb). Also worth mentioning, Margaret Regan also picked up a first place plaque for her arts criticism in the Best Column, Feature or Criticism category.
The best part of this job is the opportunity to work with exceptionally talented people like Jim, Mari, Margaret (and a long list of others). A good example of this is the return of Linda Ray to the pages of the Weekly with her great profile of Brian Lopez on this week's cover. If you see any of the people mentioned above, buy them a drink or something. They definitely deserve one.