Yesterday was a very good day for the JFP staff, and especially our writers and designers. First we found out that we are finalists for three Association of Alternative Newsmedia awards. Being a finalist for AAN awards (and the others we found out about yesterday) means that we will find out in a few weeks what our placement is, and we are grateful whether we win first place or honorable mention! And cheers to all the other AAN (and Green Eyeshade) finalists; we are humbled to be in the honor of such talented people.
The JFP has done very well in the national (actually international, considering they include Canadian newsweeklies) AAN awards since we first started competing in 2004. Before this year's nominations, we'd won a whopping 22 awards, including public-service awards for our "Road to Meadville" reporting (which helped land James Ford Seale in prison) (first place); our "Two Lakes" investigations (second place); and our work to stop domestic abuse, especially Ronni Mott's amazing work(honorable mention).
This year, we are finalists for three awards and will find out placement on June 8. We are especially proud because the honorees include several freelance columns, including several women who were intimately involved in thegrass-roots efforts to stop Personhood last fall. I've also starred Valerie Wells' feature stories below as they are the indepth heart of our Personhood reporting. The honored stories/people are:
Mississippi Defeats Personhood: Valerie Wells, Elizabeth Waibel, Lacey McLaughlin, Lori Garrott, Shannon Barbour, Stacey Spiehler, Funmi Franklin, Donna Ladd Nominated articles and columns: Ready, Boots? Start Marching Danger Looming Large Preparing for Battle It's About Women's Rights Where Is the Line? Personhood Supporters Shocked, Undeterred
Innovation/Format Buster: Focus: Staff (editorial and design) Nominated package: GOOD Ideas Issue/Crime Focus This was our most exciting GOOD Ideas issue to date: with a focus on (actual) crime causes and prevention. Don't miss the JFP Crime Manifesto on the last page. And we especially salute Art Director Kristin Brenemen and her design team. The GOOD Ideas issues are as much about the graphics as they are about the content. This is a true team effort! Click here to flip through the PDF
Also, our syndicated cartoonist, Jen Sorenson (see page 4 each issue), is up for Best Cartoon. That's not a JFP award, but we are proud to run her each issue.
We were more than thrilled to find out that the above work is being honored yesterday. But right before I went to bed, I checked email on my phone and saw the finalists for the Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eyeshade Awards, which cover all types of media in 11 states in the southeastern United States. I was thrilled to see that we are winning three Green Eyeshade awards this year. It works the same as AAN: We'll find out exact placement in a few weeks.
The Green Eyeshades have been good to us since we first entered two contests back: we've won six awards before this year, including another second-place public-service award for Two Lakes coverage (link above), as well as a well-deserved first-place award for Ronni Mott's domestic-abuse coverage. We also won several awards for serious commentary and our Frank Melton coverage. This year, we are placing for the following work (including a very deserved feature-writing award for Valerie Wells):
Public Service: Above list of writers + R.L. Nave and Adam Lynch More entries were allowed, so we also included Personhood coverage by R.L. Nave and Adam Lynch in this package, as well as another by Elizabeth Waibel and Lori Garrott. They are: Personhood on Trial Today - Adam Lynch Personhood's Next Move- Elizabeth Waibel Barbour: Legislature Better Place to Decide Personhood - R.L. Nave Under Fire, Barbour Backtracks on Personhood Doubt - R.L. Nave - Lori Garrott
Feature Writing: Valerie Wells News Wars: The Rise and Fall of The Clarion-Ledger Personhood: A Pandora's Box Grassroots Mamas Tell All MPB: Public Servant? Engineering Whimsy
Serious Commentary: Donna Ladd Editor's Notes
We congratulate all of the winners, especially the newest members of the JFP staff and the freelance writers and columnists who are honored for their hard work, great writing and passion. A huge part of the JFP's mission is pursuing excellence here in the middle of Mississippi—and letting the world know about the intelligence and talent that lives and spreads light in Mississippi. Being honored regionally and (inter)nationally for our work sends these messages perfectly. And we can't do it without our readers: all of you who support us every day, give us story tips, cheer us on, and read (and tweet and post and comment on) our work.
Cheers to all, and to Jackson. The future is very bright.