I would like to extend my congratulations to all the winners of the Northwest Excellence in Journalism Contest. I’d like to say thanks for the award given to Watching Our Water Ways. And, while I’m at it, I’d like to chronicle a statistically rare event that occurred Saturday night for the Kitsap Sun.

This competition is considered an important contest for most news organizations in our region. In some years, it is the only contest I enter.

Those who submit reporting projects are informed that they have won something — but winners are not told whether they are getting a first-, second- or third-place award until winners are announced at a banquet. This year, the banquet was Saturday night at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

It’s always a bit of a crapshoot, which allows me to make a statistical calculation. Of course, it’s an honor to win at any level, because somewhere around 2,000 entries in various categories are not recognized at all. But one can never be sure what will happen. One year, an entry that won a Pulitzer Prize for the Seattle Times came in third in the SPJ regional contest.

So here’s the deal. On Saturday night, four front-line journalists for the Kitsap Sun attended the banquet, and all four walked away with first-place awards. That’s Angela Dice, Chris Henry, Nathan Joyce and myself. (Check Sunday’s Kitsap Sun for details.) As I calculate the odds, the chance of that happening is one in 81, based on equal odds of getting any of the awards.

Three of the Sun’s awards went to people who did not attend: Josh Farley received a first place award, Adam Kispert received a second-place, and a team of folks won a third-place. If Josh would have attended the dinner without knowing that he had won, the odds would have been one in 243.

Speaking of the dinner, I would like to express appreciation to our editors for going and supporting us. That’s Editor David Nelson, local news editor Kim Rubenstein, and assistant news editor Vince Dice. In past years, editors have not always found the time.

As I write about these statistics, I realize it seems that I may be giving this honor less weight than it deserves. In truth, I can’t remember Sun staff getting this many first-place awards in one year, so it is a rare accomplishment.

As for myself, I am pleased that this blog was officially recognized with an SPJ Award for “Best Site — Specialized Subject.” I am proud to be in the company of Doug Ramsey (second place), who writes a wonderful blog on Jazz called Rifftides, and a team from Idaho Public Television (third place), that maintains an informative website and blog called D4K — Dialog for Kids.

But I have to say that I am also honored by the favorable comments and support I receive from you — the readers of this blog — whether they come via the blog itself, e-mails, or in person. So this is a chance for me to pause and tip my hat to everyone who subscribes to or reads Water Ways, offers comments or helps me with ideas.

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Source: Watching Our Water Ways

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