First of all, let’s grant that journalists take awards way too seriously — but for obvious reasons: Circulation reports and page-view analytics don’t always provide the psychic rewards of a trophy on one’s mantle. Since journalism awards are usually awarded by other journalists (and not by, say, the reading and viewing public) the whole thing can seem a bit self-congratulatory.
But let’s congratulate the Philadelphia Daily News, which this week took seven first-place awards and won the “sweepstakes” competition among the state’s biggest papers at the Keystone Press Awards. The Inquirer wasn’t too shabby either, taking four first-place awards.
And not to tweak the Inquirer — though, Lord knows, that can be an awful lot of fun sometimes — but a quick couple of words in defense of the perpetually under-threat Daily News: We’re not entirely sure why it’s survived as long as it has. We won’t say “great journalism” is the reason, because we know Pulitzer winners whose papers no longer exist. But what we can say is that the awards offer some small measure of what Philadelphia would be missing if the paper disappeared. Being the scrappy underdog kind is kind of in tune with this city’s soul anyway, no?
Update: Very clumsily, I omitted the great performance by City Paper in the awards. They also won the sweepstakes for their division — and, oh hey: They won NINE first-place awards in their division. A lot of good news reporting goes on at the alt weekly … which, judging by the awards, must be the real best paper in town, right?