Monday, March 07, 2005

#2's Okay ... For Now, at Least

Plenty of celebration around the television station today. The Texas Associated Press Broadcasters have announced the winners of their 2004/2005 contests, and NewsWest 9 led the pack in Odessa-Midland with 13 awards in nearly every category of broadcast and web journalism.

Yes ... web journalism, too. The web site I edit took second place statewide in the "Best Website" category, finishing behind, the online component of our NBC-affiliated neighbors to the north, in Lubbock.

We were competing in the TAPB's DIVISION 3, which includes radio and television stations in the Odessa-Midland, Lubbock, Abilene, Sherman-Dennison, Beaumont-Port Arthur and Wichita Falls markets, among others.

So, why am I so proud of finishing in second-place? Well, for one thing, we have one of the newest news websites in Texas ... only now completing our fifth week of operation. We've learned a lot and gone far since those first, struggling days of discovery and experimentation. It's a process, I hope, that never truly ends. Because, I believe that, when you stop experimenting, when your desire for discovery ends ... that's when the decline begins.

The challenge is, I think, different for websites than it is for other categories in the competition. In those other categories, one picks a particular entry ... an especially good newscast, an exemplary individual report or series, an above-average bit of video shooting or editing. But it's different for websites. All the judges receive is your URL and some basic information about the size of your market and the size of your website staff (in our case, it's one person). Then, over a period of a few weeks, they visit the site a number of times, allowing them to get a feel for the site's performance over an extended period.

That's not to take anything away from my award-winning co-workers, though. They are ...
1. NewsWest 9 Sunrise with Jordan Williams, Antoinette Antonio & Darrell Ward.
News Anchor/Team
1. Jordan Williams & Antoinette Antonio.
2. Reporter Marcy Clemons - "Journi"
1. Reporter Billy Churchwell - "Flying Spiders"
Investigative Report
2. Reporter David Marino and Photographer Mike Ortiz - "Call for Help"
2. Reporter Antoinette Antonio
Sports Story
1. Reporter Steve Loscalzo - "A Trey Howell Christmas"
1. Reporter Billy Churchwell and Photographer Frank Morales - "West Texas Guardsmen at Fort Hood"
General Assignment
HM. Reporter Billy Churchwell and Photographer Frank Morales - "Teens Shooting at Traffic"
Continuing Coverage
1. Reporter David Marino - "Massage Parlor Scandal"
Feature Editing
2. Photographer Mike Ortiz - "Dobbs Series"
HM. Photographer Mike Ortiz - "Sex Offender Series"

And while they are the competition, I should also acknowledge our friends at KOSA-TV, who took home some awards of their own - including an Honorable Mention for Best Website - but not as many as we did! :-)

Someone not listed in the TAPB's award credits, yet deserving a big acknowledgement, is Dennis Temby of Midland ... school district telecommunications man by day, web designer by night ... who designed our site. It was not an easy process, considering the patience and the perseverance he showed over A LOT of adjustments made as we hammered out the final product.

Anyway, for me, #2's okay ... for now, at least. Next year, we'll have to take a shot at being the #1 website.


Pancho said...


I feel a certain affection for NBC. In 1984 I was in the commercial real estate business in Dallas and was chosen to represent the national network in finding office space for all NBC functions during the Republican Convention in held there.

I was invited to the final party at Texas Stadium where I chatted with, among others, John Chancellor, Andrea Mitchell and Willard Scott!

Eric said...

Jeff, congratulations...nice work!

Now, about those non-clickable headlines (which may be the only thing standing between you and #1! ;-)

Eric said...

Yep, just as I has clickable headlines.


Jeff said...

Wallace, thank you. That time in Texas Stadium must have been great. I've never met Willard Scott, but he seems like a real character. I've noticed that NBC has not let him slip completely into retirement, and is called upon often to do weather or special events for the Today Show.

Eric, thank you, too. As a matter of fact, that very idea was being tossed around in a meeting just the other day. Concensus seemed to be that it was good idea ... the fact that YOU had recommended made it seem even better!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jeff!!