Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » What recognition do you get at work?

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I'm sensitive to the fact that most people work hard every day and rarely get any state award for it. Journalists, on the other hand, have the opportunity to win a variety of awards for the work they do. The media can be obsessed with awards when the real honor we receive every day is our readers choosing to open the paper or click on the Web site.

Nonetheless, I'm proud of our staff for winning what may be the Victoria Advocate's first Sweepstakes award in the 130th annual Texas Press Association contest. Those who have been at the 164-year-old Advocate much longer than I can't recall the newspaper taking the top honor before.

What's particularly gratifying is this honor reflects the hard work and talents of so many in the building. From our first place in advertising to Aprill Brandon's first for column writing, the awards spanned the range of what a newspaper and Web site attempt to do each day.

The Advocate won 10 awards in only 14 contest categories, competing against newspapers of up to three times our size. In Texas, that's a bigger accomplishment than about anywhere else.

The biggest reasons for an editor to care about awards are recruitment and retention. Good journalists want to come to and stay at a place where high quality work is valued. Awards don't mean much if you pursue them at the expense of doing all of the little things such as compiling honor roll lists (see Sunday's paper) that never garner judges' attention.

In my view, the Advocate has a good blend for a medium-sized newspaper of award-winning journalism that makes a difference and the everyday coverage that connects the community. Of course, we can always do much better, and we're only as good as today's edition. We have only to spot the latest typo or grammatical error to be appropriately humbled.

You will always be the real judge. And for those out there who don't get an opportunity to have your peers around the state stand up and salute you, I hope you'll let us know about what's special at your workplace. We want your Advocate to be the place where you're honored for the work you do every day.