I used to speak disparagingly of journalism awards. Real reporters don’t worry about winning awards, I’d say. Real reporters, I'd say, are focused on covering their beats, not cherry-picking the stories that will get the attention of journalism award judges.
Of course, my attitude about awards may have been influenced by the fact that I’d never won an award other than in-house recognition at newspapers where I’ve worked.
So now I have to change my attitude, because a couple of weeks ago, I won a first place public service award from the Florida Magazine Association. The award -- known as a Charlie Award -- was for a package of stories I wrote called “The Rescuers” that was published in the June/July 2006 edition of Key West Magazine.
The stories examined Key West’s vulnerability to hurricanes and how emergency management, fire and police personnel would respond if a Category 5 hurricane struck Key West. The stories also discussed previous powerful hurricanes that have made landfall in Key West and the Florida Keys.
The stories can be viewed online at http://www.kwmag.com/2006JuneJuly/index.html.
This year’s Charlie Awards competition drew more than 900 entries from 70 magazines published in Florida. The entries were judged by magazine publishers and journalists across the U.S. First, second and third place winners were chosen in each category.
The Charlie Award is named after the late Charles G. Welborn Jr., a long-time professor of journalism and communications at the University of Florida.
The award arrived from Tallahassee today. See above.