Jun 23, 2008

A long night*

Newsrooms may be shrinking across Los Angeles, but the LA Press Club still managed to find three or so hours of material for its awards night on Saturday. A complete list of the winners is here.

A few standout moments from the night. Harry Shearer tried mightily to mine the beatification of Tim Russert for humor. Few in the audience responded. Shearer had better luck skewering Lee Abrams, Tribune innovation guru, for his exclamation-point speak, and Sam Zell, Tribune owner, for his fondness of the word fuck. Since I left my Mayhill Fowler-brand audio recorder at home, I can't offer a transcript, and paraphrasing jokes is a sure-fire loser, but through a wine-soaked memory I remember the Zell line had something to do with Zell using "fuck" more than 300 times in his latest memo, and that was just the first sentence.

The most amusing speech of the night came from Steve Lopez, who won the President's Award. He, too, took aim at Abrams and Zell, and at Shearer's suit. Lopez noted that Abrams came to visit the Times last week and was genuinely surprised to discover the paper had a bureau in Baghdad. Seriously. Lopez also recounted his trip to the beach to knock on Sam Zell's front door, which prompted a fuck you from Zell, and then promised to go back again.

The most moving defense of journalism of the night came from Daniel Pearl's father, Judea Pearl, in introducing the night's Pearl honoree, Bob Woodruff. In losing his son, Pearl said realized how elusive the truth can be and how dangerous the road sometimes is in trying to finding it.

On a more personal note, KCRW's Warren Olney won two awards, both for shows produced before I came here. The Los Angeles Daily Journal also took home a couple honors for work done in the Southern California office - I was up in the Capitol for them. Unfortunately, I didn't see a single nomination from the MediaNews newspapers in the San Gabriel Valley, despite some deserving work. I gather they didn't submit anything. Neither, it seems, did the Daily Breeze.



Anonymous said...

There were few nominations for any MediaNews Southern California papers. I think the Long Beach Press-Telegram had a good handful, and a couple for the LA Daily News.

Otherwise, in the under-100,000 circ categories, it was the DJ, the Downtown News, the LA Business Journal, CityBeat, the Jewish Journal, etc. Kind of makes you feel that the MNG papers aren't part of the SoCal journalism "establishment."

Gary Scott said...

You have to enter the contest to be "nominated" and I don't think they did.

Anonymous said...

Well, exactly. It's like the papers are so defeated that the editors don't even think of themselves as part of a regional news conversation anymore.

Or they can't afford the $40-80 per story nomination fee.

Or both.

Anonymous said...

There's also the postage, which adds several dollars per submission.

Anonymous said...

I won a second place

Anonymous said...

You won a second place and you still can't post your name saying you did.

The terrorists have won.

Contributors said...

anonymous said... "I won a second place"

How pathetic it is that a MN person who just won an award is so damn fearful of sharing his/her name and his/her glory???

Where's your backbone? You can't be the public's watchdog but a lapdog in the workplace!!

Gary Scott said...

First, I don't think it's hard to figure out which MNG reporters won second place, so let's not get too worked up here.

Second, the confusion here is due to my error - the Long Beach Press-Telegram did enter the contest and is east of the 710. So, let's be more specific. None of the MNG papers in the San Gabriel Valley entered the contest. And neither did the Daily Breeze, apparently.

Andre Coleman said...

LOL I actually forgot I was not logged on. I have nothing to hide. I am not a part on MediaNews.

I am a part of Southland Publishing and I won a second place.