Awards, Rewards

I’m starting this week backwards.

Let me explain… Normally, I begin a new workweek every Monday by prioritizing my task lists and tackling clients’ projects. Whatever little crumbs of time are leftover, I devote to updating my own website. Clients come first.

But today, May 3, is World Press Freedom Day. As the Washington Post wrote this morning, “World Press Freedom Day serves as an occasion to recognize and remember the journalists all over the globe who are seeking the truth, asking the difficult questions and holding the powerful to account. Their words matter. Stand with them. Defend their right to write. Support them by reading and sharing their work.”

I’m honored to be a lifelong journalist on a storytelling journey through newspapers, television, radio and magazines.

As a 30-plus year long member of the media, I’ve written for all types of outlets, in full-time and part time capacities, starting with internships, then ebbing and flowing into career-ladder-climbing positions and news management roles, into my current freelance status.

I’m honored to be entrusted with meaningful stories and news to share. It’s a responsibility–and joy–I think about with each and every interview. Quite simply, I love my job.

But that love is bittersweet. Journalism has been under attack, especially during the past four or five years. And consequently, I have family members who chose to believe lies like “The press is the enemy.” Writing is part of my identity, so to have family members cut ties with me feels extremely personal and hurtful.

Being recognized for my work eases those hurts a bit. So, allow me to share a little journalism joy.

This spring, I’m honored to have won three Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter:

Additionally, I’ve also been recognized with three Keystone Media Awards sponsored by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation:

All of these pieces were written for TheBurg, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to write for them, among about a half-dozen magazines, currently.

But honestly, you know where I keep awards–if I keep them at all? In a desk drawer. I had a boss years ago who did that, and it resonated with me. I prefer to stay humble and I wouldn’t want to dwell on seeing those daily reminders.

And much bigger than awards, I have a favor to ask:

When you read stories that matter to you–stories that touch you, stories that reveal new perspectives, stories that help you to think differently… consider thanking the journalist who wrote it, share it with others, tell others why you enjoyed the piece and overall, speak up and explain the value of news in your life. Defend trust, news and story-chasing people, i.e. journalists. It matters, on a personal, professional and public level. #JournalismMatters

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