Digital First Media announced the winners of its second annual DFMies (silly name, cool contest) and the Charleston Daily Mail’s entries were not among the top finishers. (We had a winner last year, Zack Harold.)
No shame in that. As the company itself says, Digital First Media‘s more than 800 multi-platform products reach 67 million Americans each month across 18 states. So it’s a pretty big company and there are a lot of good people doing terrific work. Any competition is bound to be stiff.
We’re proud to have two finalists who are big-time contributors to what we do.
One was Zack Harold, the Daily Mail’s life and community engagement editor. Say that job title with me three times fast.
Zack actually won the award for work he did when he was one of our Statehouse writers. He was a DFMie finalist in the “live coverage” category. (It took the entire staff of the New Haven Register to defeat him. Darn you, New Haven Register!)
I entered Zack for his coverage of an environmental protest at the West Virginia Capitol. Here is my entry, which included, by necessity, some weird third-person references to myself:
On Aug. 21, reporters heard over the scanner that an environmental protester had chained himself to a barrel of dirty water right in front of the West Virginia governor’s mansion.
We dispatched photographer Tom Hindman and statehouse reporter Zack Harold to the scene. Zack asked, “Do you want me to tweet about it?”
Editor Brad McElhinny said, fatefully, “Yeah, sure.”
But the extra twist of interest occurred when a journalistic debate broke out over Twitter.
McElhinny summarized the debate and posted it as a Storify in his editor’s blog.
Another finalist for our paper is not actually a member of our staff. It’s Charleston resident Katy Brown, who was highly considered for the “community blogger” category. Here’s how the category was described: “Entry is not a staff member, but someone in your community who blogs for your website or blogs independently, linked to from your website and part of your Community Media Lab or other network. Entry should include no more than 100 words of explanation and no more than three links to works.”
(The winner of the category is a Golden State Warriors blogger from the San Francisco Bay area. Very different from The Mommyhood, I tell you.)
So the entry had to be pretty short, barely bigger than a tweet. I summed up Katy’s contributions this way and provided these links.
Katy Brown blogs like clockwork for the Daily Mail’s “Mommyhood” blog and has gained a community following for her posts that range from humorous to poignant. She enjoys participating in the comments section and chats with readers via Facebook and Twitter. She’s an asset to our site and is a destination read.
Fruitcakes and nutcases
In informing us that Katy was a finalist, Digital First’s Steve Buttry wrote this note to her:
You probably have never heard of a DFMie, but I want to let you know that Mommyhood was a finalist for one.Digital First Media, the parent company of the Charleston Daily Mail, conducts an annual awards program to recognize editorial excellence by our newsroom staffs. Because we value our relationships with community bloggers, we include an award for the best community blog in our 70-plus daily newsrooms. Brad McElhinny nominated you for a 2014 DFMie and you were one of three finalists for the award. (Another blogger won the award, though.)Thanks for your contributions to the Daily Mail and congratulations on this recognition!
Author: Brad McElhinny is editor and publisher of The Charleston Daily Mail. I’m a Parkersburg native and a Marshall graduate. I live in Charleston with my wife — we’ll call her “Karen” — my two little girls, an easily excitable terrier, an aging obese cat and, now, a kitten named “Sweetie.” Read more from this author