I’m not going to minimize how good it feels to win an award.
I’m not even going to try to say something like it’s nice to be recognized by your peers.
It does feel good. It is nice. Sometimes recognition is energizing. It helps gauge where you are going, show you where you have been successful and gives you examples of what to strive for.
These are all the things I experienced this weekend at the West Virginia Press Association’s annual convention at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke. Putting a large group of reporters, editors, advertising staff members and publishers into the same room, in meetings and socializing, you can’t help but take something away from it.
Looking at the awards given through the WVPA’s Better Newspaper Contest has given me a lot of good story ideas I can’t wait to share with reporters, and I’m even more excited to share them with our readers in the coming months.
The cherry on top of the sundae, of course, was being recognized as the WVPA Newspaper of the Year for the seventh year in a row. It’s an award that every single person in the Times West Virginian family shares, from the newsroom to advertising to graphics to the business office to circulation. It’s by working as a team that we’ve done so well in statewide competitions, coming up against the largest papers in the state to take home the honor.
But like teachers who don’t teach to the test, we don’t present our newspaper to readers each day to win awards. We present the best package of news with our readers in mind each day. We keep our readers in mind every single day, taking feedback, both positive and negative, and constantly tweak and modify what we do. We present the news and features our readers like, the ones they want and the ones they need.
Which brings me to an award that our newspaper shares with all of Marion County, first place in Service to the Community for our year-long look at bullying in the school system. This project was reader driven from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 and beyond.
We get so many calls from parents about bullying issues during the school year, parents that stay up at night worrying about the emotional and physical well being of their children. They break down in tears sometimes, describing their fears and concerns, the incidents and their frustration with a system that seems to have forgotten about their children.
We looked at the issues, evaluated where we were, looked at changes made in the school system, encouraged more changes and praised the progress.
And things have gotten better. And we certainly cannot take all the credit for that. We can talk about problems and issues, and bring awareness, but at the end of the day, the ones who can truly affect change are the ones who recognize the problem and takes the steps necessary to change the status quo.
Things are better, but we as the community have miles to go before we sleep. Bullying isn’t a new issue, and it isn’t an issue that’s been completely solved. But if we keep moving forward and taking the steps we need to take, it can make all the difference for one child or hundreds of children. And as school starts this week, let’s continue to keep it a top-of-mind issue and keep up the work.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire community for sharing in this award with us. Thank you to the parents for sharing their stories with us. Thank you to administrators for being open with us and helping us collect information. Thank you to administrators, board of education members and legislators for taking crucial steps to address this issue. And thank you to the readers who have supported this initiative.
My Press Pass is a twice monthly column written by Managing Editor Misty Poe to explain the news gathering process and editorial decisions made at the Times West Virginian. If there are any specific questions you’d like to see addressed, you may contact her at email@example.com.
I’m not going to minimize how good it feels to win an award.
- Local News
Free resources for breast cancer patients available at FGH
Those who have battled breast cancer know that it can be very costly, but now Fairmont General Hospital and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to take some financial stress off patients.
Tricia Julian, program coordinator for Oncology Services at FGH, said the Cancer Resource Center (CRC) at the hospital has recently received a supply of mastectomy bras and forms.
Swap meet part of Miner’s Day celebration
The Northern Appalachian Coal Mining Heritage Association (NACMHA) celebrated Miner’s Day by holding its first Coal Mining Appreciation Day Swap Meet.
The event, which took place at the Knights of Columbus Hall, lasted all day, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Housing First plan can help homeless
This time of year, there’s a winter chill in the air.
People don’t spend as much time outside, hurrying between errands and work, looking forward to when they can finally go home, into the warmth.
‘Take a book ... Return a book’ theme in Fairmont, around world
“Take a book ... Return a book” is painted on thousands of Little Free Libraries around the nation and the world.
Since 2009, Little Free Libraries have been popping up in communities and now there is one located in Fairmont.
Marital communication murder case issue
Two years ago on Dec. 11, Everett Ed Wilson was shot to death at the Baxter home of his daughter and son-in-law, Kristyn and Michael Palmer.
They have been incarcerated at the North Central Regional Jail since their arrest and indictment on first-degree murder charges in June 2012.
WVU board approves interim president
At an emergency meeting Thursday, the West Virginia University Board of Governors unanimously approved the selection of an interim president for the institution, but that selection has not officially been made public.
WVU director honored for work in mine safety
After mining disasters in West Virginia and in the United States, professionals look at how they can make mines safer.
Jim Dean, director of mining and industrial extension at West Virginia University, received the “Because of You” Safety Professional Award thanks to his significant contributions to mining safety.
Today’s Telephone Blitz part of United Way’s push toward goal
If you get a phone call from the United Way of Marion County today, be nice.
Give. Even a $5 donation can help.
Just imagine all the good it will do.
The United Way of Marion County, always there for those in need, now needs a little help from you.
Two escape before fire destroys home on Burnt Cabin Road
“God will take care of me.”
Even as firefighters from eight units from two counties fought the blaze that was consuming the mobile home on Burnt Cabin Road she shared with her brother, Leah Snodgrass remained calm.
AFT’s goal is working together with legislators
At the second annual Legislative Round Table on Wednesday, representatives from local chapters of the American Federation of Teachers met with senators and delegates from Marion and neighboring counties to discuss issues with the education system in West Virginia.
- More Local News Headlines
- Free resources for breast cancer patients available at FGH