We’re number 4!
There’s a statewide organization for print and digital news outlets, the California News Publishers Association (CNPA), which we never belonged to until about a year ago.
Part of it was because, back in the day, we didn’t fit into any category of membership since we publish only twice a month.
I’m not sure when, but they changed that to allow membership for publications like ours, but I still didn’t join because it cost money – $669.52 a year to be exact – and I was too cheap. We could spend that money on red pens, office ice cream, or our seemingly never-ending stash of dark chocolate. Small businesses have budgetary priorities, you know.
One of the things you can do as a CNPA member is enter their annual contest. There are a slew of categories broken down by frequency of publication and circulation. We were put into a “weekly” category of papers with circulation between 4,301-11,000 for the purposes of the competition.
Of course, that costs money, about $30 an entry. Going back to the cheap theme, we made just five entries (news entities usually blow their ice cream money by entering as many categories as humanly possible).
CNPA had their big, annual California Journalism Awards Dinner earlier this month in Long Beach, where they recognize the top five entries in a category.
Lo and behold, your Kenwood Press got 4th Place in the categories of General Excellence and Feature Story. Generally excellent for the two consecutive issues in February of 2018 we submitted for review, and Sarah Phelp’s story last year on construction issues facing fire survivors trying to rebuild.
A judge commented that our two issues showed, “strong fire-follow coverage while also covering a breadth of community issues.”
For Sarah’s piece, the judge said a, “well thought-out story offers a unique view in the aftermath of the October 17 fires.” She’ll probably want a raise now.
“We’re #4!” would look pretty good on a hat or a t-shirt, so wait for those.
This is way better than that participation trophy your child brought home from their under-eight soccer post-season pizza party.
And, who knows, maybe it’s like the Olympics where there’s always a chance the winners ahead of you get disqualified because of something like steroids. In the print news biz, maybe Performance Enhancing Fonts (PEFs) will be found, allowing us to jump into the lofty position of 3rd Place.
We’re happy to stay in 4th, not an easy feat given the size of our outfit, where one minute you’re talking on the phone to a politician, the next minute selling an ad, and after that cleaning the bathroom.
By the way, Sonoma County newspapers of all sizes were well represented in terms of CNPA awards, which shows that community-based journalism in our area still has an important role.
Thanks for reading, and may the 4th be with you!