We won. Or tied. In any event, we weren’t even here eight months ago, so the outcome is still remarkable.
Saturday night, the Press Club of Dallas resuscitated the Katie Awards, which honor quality journalism in Texas media. It seems that in 2004-2006, the Press Club’s previous president, Elizabeth Albanese, didn’t send the submissions out for judging but pretty much kidnapped them and kept them in the trunk of her car — when she wasn’t handing out some of the prizes to herself.
As one might expect after such a near-death experience, the victim was frightfully thin. Actually, it was impressive that the Press Club volunteers put on such an evening at all and drew a decent crowd. Any category that didn’t get a sufficient number of submissions to produce a real competition was scrupulously eliminated. So there were no awards, for example, in any category involving radio or television. All of those previous divisions for specialty publications, newsletters, press relations and whatnot: Gone.
But when it came to the best website, award presenter and SMU journalism professor Tony Pederson reported that it was a tough race, compounded by what the judges termed “the vast discrepancy in the amount of resources behind each entry. On top of that, these websites set out to do different things.”
In other words, someone will have to figure out a way to distinguish among websites, just as newspapers are relegated to large, medium or small markets. But for this year’s round, “we award two additional Katies here because of standout designations for innovative work.”
Translation: Art & Seek was in a three-way tie for first place with both the Dallas Morning News (“arguably the most comprehensive website serving Texas”) and Pegasus News (“great engineering behind this site and the content is delivered in a neat, tidy package”). Art & Seek, we blush to report, has “a beautiful and clean design and great functionality (it works every way you slice it).”
I’m going to use that line on my wife: “Honey, you have a beautiful and clean design. And hey, great functionality.”
Considering the other winners, you see what they mean about the “vast discrepancy” of resources among the competitors. In this light, the three-way was preferable even to an outright win: It shows we were judged alongside “the most comprehensive website serving Texas” and held our own.
Oh yeah. We also placed third in best blog.